Biker deaths triple in year

The scene of an accident on the A171
The scene of an accident on the A171

The trebling of the death toll among motorcycle riders has triggered a new safety campaign on North Yorkshire’s roads.

The county saw 15 motorcyclist deaths last year, up from five in 2012.

Figures suggest 70 per cent of collisions involving motorcyclists in North Yorkshire follow a mistake by the biker.

Last week, as biker season got underway in earnest, posters went up on roads across the county reminding drivers of the dangers in areas where bikers have crashed in recent years.

The 95 Alive Partnership, which brings together organisations in North Yorkshire to cut road deaths, is behind the campaign which will also involve events through the year targeting bikers.

Partnership chairman and Deputy Chief Constable Tim Madgwick said: “The objective for all the partners involved in 95 Alive has been to reduce the death toll on our roads. Sadly, 2013 will be remembered for all the wrong reasons by many families across North Yorkshire and the north of England.

“We are determined to try to make motorcycling safer, and I will work with all our partners to achieve this objective.

“There are many positive reasons why people choose to ride motorcycles and as a police service we will seek to educate and inform riders and encourage responsible use.”

While the campaign aims to educate riders, North Yorkshire Police have also made clear they will be get tough with bikers who take risks on the road.

The figures suggest the majority of motorcyclists involved in collisions are men aged between 40 and 59 riding bikes bigger than 500cc.

Just one third of the motorcyclists caught up in crashes last year were from North Yorkshire, with a further third from West Yorkshire.

A quarter of accidents in the last three years involved bikers riding in a straight line.

Fiona Ancell, North Yorkshire road safety officer and a keen biker herself, said: “In 70 per cent of crashes that resulted in bikers dying or being seriously injured, the main factor that led to the crash was a mistake by the rider.”