In 2019 there were a total of 595 motorcycle casualties on the roads of Wales, and sadly 22 motorcyclists lost their lives in a collision.
Motorcyclists are among the most vulnerable groups of road users, and they are at a higher risk of injury and collision than other road users, with 7% of all Wales resident casualties on the roads of Wales in 2019 involving motorcyclists.
Operation Darwen is an all Wales campaign which runs from early spring through until the autumn and is aimed at increasing awareness of motorcycle safety and reducing casualties on the roads.
Over the coming months, officers from the Roads Policing Units and GoSafe will engage with riders at popular meeting spots for enthusiasts as well as on certain routes as part of the operation.
As part of the operation, officers will be checking bikes are roadworthy, paying particular attention to tyres. Worn or under inflated tyres on motorcycles have been one of the most common themes during collisions, and yet is easily prevented by riders doing basic checks.
Teresa Ciano, GoSafe Partnership Manager and Chair of Road Safety Wales said: "Motorcyclists are among the most vulnerable of road users and through the engagement and education delivered through Operation Darwen we hope to encourage more bikers to make the safe choice when out riding.
"Ride within the legal speed limit, prepare for your journey, give yourself enough space and time, position yourself in the safest and best place to maximise your visibility of potential hazards and consider further skills training to improve your performance and safety on the road.”
South Wales Police Assistant Chief Constable Mark Travis, Strategic Lead for Roads Policing in Wales said: “Everyone has the right to travel on the road safely. We’re working to make roads safer for all road users, sadly the number of serious injuries and fatalities includes motorcyclists.
"We’re asking the public to remember that motorcyclists can be difficult to see, and can easily be injured when cars pull out of junctions, and can be affected by side wind when being overtaken.”
Riders are also encouraged to visit the Wales by Bike website for information and guidance regarding courses, routes and safety advice. Biker Down courses are also available as online interactive courses
We are all acutely aware that, even though a motorcyclist may not be at fault, their vulnerability invariable means that they suffer more serious injuries in a collision.
Operation Darwen will be launched this weekend and will run until late autumn.
Let’s take care of motorcyclists and make every journey a safe journey.