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North Yorkshire Police call for bikers to slow down as death toll rises
11:00am Saturday 17th August 2013 in News
North Yorkshire Police are pleading with motorcyclists to slow down as the death toll for this year reached 11 – more than double that for the whole of 2012.
With three fatal motorcycle accidents in the last week alone, North Yorkshire Police’s Deputy Chief Constable Tim Madgwick has spoken out against bikers risking their lives on the county’s roads.
Mr Madgwick said: “We need to get the message across to the motorcycling community that while we want them to come to North Yorkshire, we don’t want them going home in a box.”
With seven out of ten motorcycle fatalities caused by rider error, and most of those down to speed, Mr Madgwick said it was up to bikers to slow down and ride safely.
Speaking on Friday as part of a police campaign to help reduce the number of bike deaths on North Yorkshire’s road, he said: “A large proportion of the community are safe riders, but that does not explain why a small minority are prepared to take risks.”
He also pledged to pursue irresponsible and dangerous riders – some spotted driving at 50mph over the limit.
He said: “I don’t think we have been complacent. We have invested in new equipment in the vans, but some part of the message has not got through.”
TC Steve Beckwith, a motorbike officer, said that while the majority of riders “take it steady and enjoy their day out”, he saw some who are intent on riding as fast as they can, overtaking on double white lines and never checking their mirrors.
He appealed to bikers to improve their skills and not ride beyond their capabilities.
Fiona Ancell, a road safety officer specialising in motorbikes at North Yorkshire County Council, said: “I ride motorbikes and I have lost mates in crashes. I don’t want to go to any more of those funerals and I don’t want anyone else to either.
“It’s not a message bikers want to hear but a proportion of them need to improve their skills and exercise more restraint.
“There are a few who use the roads as a racetrack, but there is no place for that because it is only a matter of time before they are caught speeding or are killed.”
The 2013 death toll includes three bikers using Craven roads.
They were: Dominic Lee, 49, of Trawden, Lancashire, died following a crash on the A65 near Skipton, on May 1; Gail Richards, 42, died at the scene of a crash on the B6479, near Horton-In-Ribblesdale, on May 25; and Simon Higgins, 39, from Todmorden, died on the A65 Clapham bypass at the junction with Station Road, on July 27.
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