Week of action by Northamptonshire Police supports national two wheels campaign
Reducing collisions involving some of our most vulnerable road users was the focus of a recent national campaign supported by Northamptonshire Police.
Officers from the Force’s Roads Policing and Safer Roads Teams joined colleagues from across England and Wales to take part in proactive patrols on our county’s roads in the annual 2-Wheel campaign week of action.
Led by the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) and coordinated by National Roads Policing Operations, Intelligence, and Investigations (NRPOII), the campaign aims to reduce collisions involving some of the most vulnerable road users.
Between April 18 and April 23, the Roads Policing and Safer Roads Teams took part in a variety of activities including proactive patrols of popular routes for both motorcyclists and cyclists.
Officers also took part in a nationwide Operation Close Pass Day, which aimed to raise awareness of the recently amended Highway Code rules for overtaking cyclists.
Updates include a requirement for vehicle drivers to ensure a minimum gap of 1.5 metres when passing a cyclist at speeds of up to 30mph, and more space at higher speeds (rule 163).
As part of the close pass exercise, which was held in Northampton on April 18, an officer rode a pedal cycle with a fixed camera on their bike to record any offences. If any offences were detected, the driver was stopped by an unmarked police car.
While most drivers observed the Highway Code correctly, five drivers were stopped after passing the cyclist too closely. Four were issued with words of advice and one driver was given a traffic offence report for careless and inconsiderate driving.
During the proactive patrols most of the motorcyclists were observed abiding by the correct speed limits and riding responsibly. However, one person on their test ride had their machine seized for no insurance and another was reported for driving without a valid licence or MOT.
Officers also seized a moped and reported the rider for careless riding, not wearing a helmet, driving without a valid licence, and having no insurance. They will now be dealt with via the magistrates’ court.
A 25-year-old man from Corby was arrested on the afternoon of April 22, after officers attempted to stop a Husqvarna off-road motorbike in Willow Brooke Road, Corby, for having an illegal number plate.
Following a short pursuit, the rider was arrested on suspicion of failing to stop for officers, dangerous riding, driving without a valid licence, with no insurance, and riding while unfit through drugs. He was released on police bail pending further enquiries.
A further seven riders were also stopped and had their machines checked over by officers. Six of the motorcycles were in good condition but one rider was reported for displaying a non-conforming registration plate.
In addition to this, one person was issued with a section 59 anti-social riding notice and had their VOI e-scooter account suspended for inappropriate riding and four other e-scooter users were stopped and issued with words of advice.
Northamptonshire Police’s Safer Roads Operations Manager Matthew O’Connell, who coordinated the Force’s 2-Wheel campaign, said: “Reducing the number of people who are killed or seriously injured on our roads is a priority for the Force and our Northamptonshire Safer Roads Alliance partners.
“Motorcyclists, cyclists, and more recently e-scooter riders are some of the most vulnerable road users, and feature disproportionately in road collisions on the UK’s road network, including in Northamptonshire.
“This campaign provided the opportunity to shine the spotlight and promote safety for riders of two-wheeled machines, whether through education or enforcement, and encourage road users to be observant and courteous when sharing our road space.
“Although this campaign has finished, in partnership with our Northamptonshire Safer Roads Alliance partners, we will continue to proactively raise awareness of the issues which two-wheel riders can face and reduce the risk to them and other road users.”
Motorcyclists represent almost a quarter of fatal or serious injury collisions in the UK, despite making up three per cent of vehicles on the roads, showing just how risky motorcycling can be.
In Northamptonshire, eight deaths involving motorcyclists and pedal cyclists were recorded in 2022 and a further 52 casualties sustained serious or life-changing injuries. In 2021 there were eight fatalities and 86 people serious injured.
Original source article: https://www.northants.police.uk/news/northants/news/news/2023/may/week-of-action-supports-national-two-wheels-campaign/
Disclaimer: This article was not originally written by a member of the HighwaysIndustry.Com team.