Countywide – Motorcyclists urged to ride safely
Suffolk Police is urging motorcyclists to take care as the warmer weather brings riders out onto the roads in greater numbers.
Motorcyclists are considered to be vulnerable road users – a term applied to those most at risk in traffic. This is because they are prone to injury in road traffic collisions due to the fact there is little or no external protection to absorb the impact of a collision.
Motorcyclists accounted for 19% of all road deaths in Great Britain in 2019. In respect of the Strategic Road Network (major trunk roads) that year, motorcycling represented just 0.3% of total vehicle miles travelled but motorcyclists accounted for 17% of the total killed or serious injury collisions.
Over the past five years in Suffolk, motorcyclists have accounted for between approximately 15% and 20% of all road fatalities each year.
Anyone looking to improve their riding skills and to enhance their awareness and ability while on the road, is encouraged to sign-up for a ‘Safe Rider’ motorcycle workshop. The two-day course is aimed at all fully qualified riders who want to improve their skills to become better and safer riders.
There are still spaces on the Safe Rider courses this year, which take place every month until October. More information can be found on the Suffolk Constabulary website here
Officers want motorcyclists to think carefully about how they ride and to be safe at all times, not putting the lives of themselves or other road users in danger. However, anyone caught breaking the law will have appropriate action taken against them.
The prevalence of dashcams now means that even if a police officer does not witness poor or illegal riding, a member of the public may capture it and pass it to police.
Operation Snap is a national initiative which encourages people to report motoring offences and submit any footage they may have captured directly to police. More information about this can be found on the website here
Inspector Gary Miller, of the Roads and Armed Policing Team, said: “Unfortunately - compared to the low percentage of total road users they make up - motorcyclists disproportionately account for a significant number of fatal and serious injury collisions.
“As a motorcyclist myself, I know all too well of the additional harm we can come to on the roads which makes it paramount for all riders to take extra care, adapt to the road and weather conditions, and be fully aware of what is going on around you.
“I highly recommend the Safe Rider course – it doesn’t matter how long you have been riding – as honing your skills can only be a beneficial thing. All police motorcyclists who are advanced-level riders have to undergo refresher training every three to five years.
“Although the vast majority of bikers do ride responsibly, a minority of people can give the motorcycling community a bad name by opening up the throttle too much, attempting dangerous manoeuvres and generally treating an open piece of road like a racetrack.
“Operation Snap has been developed specifically for members of the public to submit footage of dangerous road users to us directly. The police cannot be everywhere all the time, so with the public’s help we can work to penalise reckless riders and if they end up in court, they may lose their licence.”
Suffolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Tim Passmore, said: "Sadly the statistics show that motorcyclists are more likely to be involved in a collision than drivers, so I fully endorse the Constabulary’s commitment to raise awareness of motorcycle safety.
"It is crucially important that all road-users are conscious of the additional vulnerability those on two wheels face. If we are all more aware of each other on the road we will make our county’s roads that bit safer.”