Engagement and education were the topics for nine police forces on bank holiday Monday as part of the National Police Chiefs’ Council Northern England day of action
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Their aim was to reduce the number of motorcyclists killed or serious injured on our roads over the summer.
Sunny weather was predicted, and the forecast did not disappoint, this coupled with a bank holiday, meaning an extra day off work for many, was the perfect time for officers to get out and about to deliver their message.
Stopping at popular meeting spots frequented by motorcyclists such as the Squires Bikers Café and Hawes officers spoke with riders of all ages, showcasing both the North Yorkshire Police green H2 Kawasaki and the popular Fire Bike from North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service.
With our colleagues from Durham Constabulary and Cleveland Police we also popped along to Whitby, Middleton in Teesdale and Helmsley. Cleveland Police also visited Redcar and Hartlepool.
West Yorkshire Police officers even made a visit Ripley Classic Car Show to speak with attendees.
Northumbria Police’s dedicated motor patrols and Operation Dragoon teams visited Kielder Water in Northumberland and spoke with riders about their own experiences and to drivers about how to look out for vulnerable road users.
All officers checked vehicles were well maintained and road legal whilst speaking with riders about the importance of staying safe on the road.
Other road users were spoken to about the importance of checking for motorcyclists and driving responsibly to keep all on the roads safe.
Throughout the day there was 215 engagement opportunities across the nine areas with other activity including:
Two arrests in South Yorkshire for suspected stolen motorcycles
19 people given an educational course for offences including excess speed, careless driving and illegal registration plates
Five road users were reported for summons for offences including excess speed and careless driving
62 Traffic Offences Reports were issued for offences including contriving a solid white line, careless driving, illegal registration plates and using a mobile phone whilst driving.
45 verbal warnings were given for offences including careless driving, excess speed, illegal registration plates and using mobile phone whilst driving
North Yorkshire Police Superintendent Alex Butterfield, said: “Sadly, statistically, motorcyclists are at higher risk of serious injury or worse among those who use our roads.
“Many roads policing or traffic officers are keen motorcyclists, who not only understand the risks, but are passionate about how we can work together to reduce them – this was the aim throughout this day of action.
“Northern England is home to some of the most picturesque views and beautiful rural roads, this, along with, the sunny weather, additional May bank holiday, and the start of half-term, understandably attracted a variety of road users to this area – and we wanted to keep them all safe.
“We must extend our thanks to Highways England who helped strategically with this operation and supported our officers on the day.”
North Yorkshire Police Traffic Constable Mark Hutchings, who rode the H2 Kawasaki during the operation, said: “We believe this operation was a huge success and we hope those we spoke to will take something away from this time.
“From the information we have received so far from the other forces, it appears the number of collisions involving motorcyclists was significantly lower on Monday than the average bank holiday.
“We do not believe there were any fatal collisions involving motorcyclists, however there were still some incidents where they received minor or serious injuries, which demonstrates the importance of these operations.”
North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service Station Manager, Mark Upton, who rode the service’s Fire Bike throughout the operation, said: “As firefighters we have seen the devastating aftermath of a serious injury or fatal collision and the impact it has on everyone involved.
“The roads in North Yorkshire are often busy with a variety of people, including tourists on day trips, or those staying longer, potentially towing caravans or trailers – when visitors aren’t familiar with the area it can lead to errors and these can have severe consequences.
“We all want road users in North Yorkshire and across the UK to be safe which is why we fully support joint campaigns like this.”
Both North Yorkshire Police and North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service offer extremely popular educational programmes aimed at the biking community – more information can be found on their websites.
The forces involved in the day of action alongside North Yorkshire Police, included Humberside, West Yorkshire, Durham, Cleveland, South Yorkshire, Lancashire, Cheshire and Northumbria.
The operation wrapped up about 6pm with everyone happy with the accomplishments of the day – we hope those we spoke to took something away from the meet too and we wish all road users a safe summer on our roads.