Insp Chris Charlton warns dangerous riders
NORTH YORKSHIRE POLICE are promising to continue their hard line stance against irresponsible and anti-social motorcyclists across our region.
Riders are attracted to the area by a network of challenging roads across the Yorkshire Dales and police chiefs are insisting that those roads misused by riders will be targeted, and "extreme speeders" will be fast-tracked through the courts.
Extreme speeders - those caught exceeding any speed limit by 30mph - can lose their licences within days of being caught, said Road Policing Inspector Chris Charlton. He warned: "No-one should think that we are ignoring other dangerous road-users - we catch more drivers than riders at these high speeds and we take a dim view of their irresponsibility too.
"North Yorkshire Police are well aware that not all serious motorcycle accidents are the fault of riders, and we guarantee to come down hard on any road user who is jeopardising someone else's life."
With the motorcycle leisure-riding season getting under way the force promises a repeat of last year's hard line against risk-takers.
With the support of North Yorkshire's 95 Alive campaign, North Yorkshire Police halved the number of riders killed on the county's roads last year, but Insp Charlton warned that police officers and representatives of the other organisations in 95 Alive could not be everywhere on North Yorkshire's 6,000 miles of roads. He said: "Five riders have been killed this year, a horrendous start to 2007.
"All road-users have to take responsibility for their actions, and no-one more than motorcyclists who are so very vulnerable. We can and do make massive efforts to enforce the law and promote common-sense road safety, but we cannot protect riders and drivers from the consequences of their actions across every inch of this enormous county.
"They must all ride and drive within their capabilities, and they must do so with regard and respect for all other road-users."
Research suggests that 50% of all North Yorkshire crashes involving motorcycles involve the bike losing control on a bend and either hitting another vehicle or a fixed object - often a tree or stone wall.
we do not welcome the idiot minority who like to show off or take foolish risks
Insp Chris Charlton - North Yorkshire Police
Said Insp Charlton: "I am not saying these accidents are always down to speed - but they are very often the consequence of inappropriate speed for the prevailing road, weather or traffic conditions. We say that riders have to take responsibility for the way they ride.
"I think most riders understand that we are not anti-rider. We are, though, very strongly anti-death and anti-injury. The overwhelming majority of the thousands of riders who visit North Yorkshire are responsible, decent people, and they are very welcome here.
"But we do not welcome the idiot minority who like to show off or take foolish risks and I am warning them now - if you behave badly in North Yorkshire we will catch you. And then bad things will start to happen - they include fines, licence points, riding bans and prison. It's your choice."