The weather is now (hopefully) getting better and lighter days are ahead which means we will all see an increase in the number of bikers out and about on the roads.
With the challenging nature of the roads in areas of outstanding natural beauty such as Snowdonia and with some of the best scenery in the UK, it comes as no surprise that many choose to visit North Wales.
We recently launched Operation Darwen, our annual campaign to help reduce the number of deaths and serious injury on our roads. Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure Ken Skates AM also attended the launch and gives his full backing to the campaign.
The message we’d like to get across is please enjoy the freedom of the routes. It is a fantastic area for motorcyclists, and as a passionate biker myself, I want riders to be able to enjoy our beautiful region safely.
Police officers – as well as partners from other emergency services, see far too many tragedies, many preventable. Staying safe on the road applies to every single one of us, whether we have two or four wheels on our vehicle. I would urge riders and drivers to think about their behaviour and what changes they could make to improve their own safety and that of other road users.
Of course Operation Darwen isn’t all about motorcyclists. We look at all motorists as part of the campaign and we will continue to target, with a view to prosecution, all those that ride or drive dangerously, at excess speed, overtake on solid white lines or commit any other road traffic offences.
Over the weekend several of my officers – including police bikers, spent the day engaging with motorcyclists in some of our hotspot areas including Betws-y-Coed, Rhug and Bala. They grabbed a coffee and spent some time talking and sharing their experiences and knowledge of bikes. I actively encourage this type of engagement and will be out and about myself over the coming months doing the same thing.
As part of the engagement strategy we will also take the opportunity to check that bikes are roadworthy, paying particular attention to tyres. Worn or under inflated tyres on motorcycles have been one of the most common themes during collisions, and yet is easily prevented by riders doing some basic checks.
Sadly, in 2016, seven motorcyclists died on the roads of North Wales. This is seven too many and we will do all we can to educate riders and drivers regarding keeping safe on the roads.