March 12, 2004 at 9:35 am #8682XV16Participant
The latest headlines regarding the biker scene will posted here.
Please start a new thread if you have any comments.
Also be aware that not all news is good news and some articles that appear could be quite harsh. Due to copyright reasons some headlines will only have a link to their original source.
These are genuine news articles, and therefore the content may not represent the views of Forum99 or it’s Moderators.March 12, 2004 at 9:50 am #18161XV16Participant
POLICE STOP BIKE RALLY…
This is another fine example of the police abusing the system. It is a total infringement of human rights.
POLICE erected roadblocks and sent dozens of officers to stop a biker rally taking place in a field in south Northamptonshire at the weekend.
Forty officers, supported by the force helicopter, moved in on Friday to close down a party, organised by the Tribal Gypsies Motorcycle Club, in a field between the villages of Hartwell and Roade.
Roadblocks were set up by the police using special powers as they closed four roads to prevent up to 500 motorbike fans reaching the site for what was intended to be a three-day rally.
Chief Supt John Miller, commander of the western area, said they had reacted following concerns from local residents.
“We received information that at least 500 tickets had been pre-sold but as it was also being advertised on the internet, it would be difficult to estimate how many people it would have eventually attracted. This event had the potential of causing considerable nuisance and could not be allowed to go ahead.
“As a result of previous experience of dealing with events of this nature, we decided to take positive but firm action in line with the Crime and Disorder Act to put a stop to this event.”
But organisers accused the police of over-reacting.
The Tribal Gypsies rally organiser, known as Troll, said: “The police first tried to get the landlord to withdraw his permission but that didn’t happen so they decided to close the whole thing down. We stand to lose £12,000.
“We were going to have six live bands and other than a bit of noise there would have been no other problems. We’d spoken to the neighbours and most people round here and invited them to along come along for a drink.
“The only problems the locals would have had to cope with was a bit of noise. Now they’ve got roads being closed off by the police. They arrived with four vans, 14 officers in each one and the helicopter was out as well. It was total overkill.”
The Tribal Gypsies were granted permission when the previous site near Milton Keynes became unavailable a fortnight ago.
Sharon Redshaw, who runs adjacent Ashton Lodge Farm, said: “I was approached a few weeks ago and told them I had no problem with it happening as long as it was a just one-off. There was bound to be some noise but only for a weekend. It didn’t really worry us.”
ABD (Association of British Drivers) Supports “Killer Pillars” investigation by Safe Speed and Bike Magazine
In an article published today in BIKE magazine it is revealed that windscreen pillars in modern cars are likely to be causing crashes by obscuring drivers vision.
The ABD strongly supports the initiative and recognises the dangers of modern windscreen pillars, especially to pedestrians and motorcyclists.
Mark McArthur Christie, ABD Road Safety Spokesman and BMW R1150GS rider said:
“With modern screen pillars seemingly becoming wider and wider it’s hardly surprising that there will be a dangerous effect on drivers’ ability to see other road users in good time. What is surprising is that the official road safety establishment has taken their eye so far off the ball that this danger has neither been spotted nor investigated. The DfT must now embark on a campaign to bring this danger to the attention of road users.”
ABD Chairman, Brian Gregory said:
“Modern road safety strongly lacks the sort of critical analysis and free thinking that leads to proper understanding of road safety problems such as this one. Clearly it’s high time that the road safety establishment pays full attention to the analysis published by Safe Speed.”
Recent government research indicates that 19.7% of 61,000 accidents were contributed to by road users who “looked but did not see”. With some 250,000 injury accidents each year we think it likely that screen pillars play a part in tens of thousands of injuries annually.
These accidents especially affect motorcyclists, who experience the risks so frequently that the usual words of the car driver involved: “Sorry Mate, I Didn’t See You” have been shortened to the acronym: SMIDSY. Notes for editors:
See article in September issue of BIKE magazine:
See “SMIDSY” web site, hosted within Safe Speed:
Safe Speed and BIKE magazine joint PR:
We have Speed Cams, Tax Cams, Bus Lane Cams and Congestion Cams, and now they want to count us! Why should anyone get preferential treatment because they carry passengers? We all pay Road Tax, Fuel Tax and everything else we have to pay. This is going to be another fleecing scam for the government and another stealth tax to add to their list.
EQUIPMENT tested in Yorkshire which counts the number of people in cars could soon be installed on Britain’s motorways to cut congestion.
Loughborough University said infra-red cameras able to distinguish between human faces, pets and other objects in cars could pave the way for an expansion of car-sharing lanes – which the Government is looking at to cut worsening traffic jams.
The university said the technology had been developed in response to enforcement problems faced by Leeds City Council in its “high occupancy vehicle” lane on Stanningley Road, the first of its kind in Britain when it opened in 1998. At peak times, one lane is restricted to vehicles with two or more occupants, in the hope of encouraging car-sharing.
The council, which has been working with the university, says there is a cost to enforcing the lane and a camera could be one way of cutting it. And a prototype camera has been tested on the A647, although Leeds Council currently has no plans to install the equipment because more testing is needed first.
But it could potentially be used on a “carpool” lane on the M62 from junction 25 to 27 – Brighouse to Leeds – if the Government selects the stretch of motorway as a national pilot for its car-sharing plans.
The infra-red technology has been developed by Laser Optical Engineering, a company affiliated with Loughborough University, with the help of Government funding.
Company director Dr John Tyrer said: “We needed to use infra-red to detect faces yet the heat-resistant coatings on car windows simply absorb the infra-red wavelengths.
“Only a highly sophisticated, and vastly expensive, infra-red camera could overcome this challenge. Our important breakthrough came when we found a tiny gap in the infra-red spectrum in which light is absorbed by human skin of any colour but reflected by hair, clothing and upholstery.
“This means that dummies, large objects and dogs – anything in a fast moving car that could be detected in error by a conventional camera – are easily rejected.”
Dr Tyrer admitted using the equipment on dull days and at night posed a challenge but insisted it was still possible. He also said the cameras could be used at border crossings or to monitor cars in high security areas and at shopping centre car parks.
“We developed a unique mathematical formula for instant image recognition to enable an automatic and accurate count of faces in a moving car for the very first time. We can even apply a size filter to the camera to make sure a hand held up where a passenger’s face should be is not counted,” he added.
Mixed fortunes for motorcycle market: RMI
Although powered two wheeler registrations for the year to date are down on 2003, the Retail Motor Industry Federation (RMI) questions whether the market is as bad as it looks, and says number of factors are restricting motorcycle sales at a time of year when they would normally be expected to rise.
Frank Finch, RMI motorcycle retailers director, says: “Pre-registration of bikes late in 2003 and customers waiting for a number of keenly anticipated new models are partly to blame for lower-than-average sales this spring.
“Another key factor is that last year’s sales were artificially inflated due to pre-registration of non-type approved stock to avoid the deadline imposed by the European Commission.”
Finch continues: “Relatively low car prices and negative publicity about motorcycle safety may have led some consumers away from the idea of getting a bike. Mopeds and scooters, both popular with new riders, are among those seeing the biggest drop.”
Bad weather in early 2004 has not helped either: ‘Motorcycling is predominantly now a leisure activity, so consistently poor weather does affect sales in the short term.”
Finch believes there are signs that sales could soon rise again: “The new models we are waiting for are now all on sale, and this should help push sales back up. The price of fuel could actually be a positive for the motorcycle sector. City-dwelling motorists may switch to two wheels to cut fuel bills, and the possibility of an expanded London Congestion Charging Zone could do the same.”
CRIME: BIKERS WARNED OF MOTORCYCLE THIEVES
BIKERS are being warned to step up security following a spate of motorcycle thefts in Peterborough in recent weeks.
Since April 1, there have been 21 reported thefts of motorcycles and mopeds in the city.
Some have been stolen from driveways and paths, while others have been taken from garages and sheds.
Pc Richard Carter, from the community safety department, today said it is thought the motorbikes are either being stolen to order by professional thieves, or by young yobs to race on the streets.
He said: “Motorcycles and mopeds are easy targets, as they can be moved quickly and easily.
“We do not know at this stage who is responsible for the thefts and are advising owners to keep motorbikes well secured.
“Keeping them in a garage or shed is a good idea – however, most sheds and garages are only secured with a padlock and, once inside, items can be taken with ease.
“Locks and chains to secure mopeds and motorbikes to walls and floors not only make them harder to steal, but also act as a deterrent.”
Pc Carter added that motorcycles and mopeds which are left outside should be secured with a wheel clamp, or chained to a wall or fence.
He said: “This will not only make life more difficult for the thief, but it also puts them off as it is not such an easy ride for them.”
Sheila McGrath, secretary of the Peterborough Motorcycle Club, which has about 200 members, today backed calls for bikers to be more careful.
She said: “It is shocking that so many bikes have been stolen in just a few weeks.
“The motorbikes we ride can be worth up to £17,000, so, obviously, security is important.
“When at home, it is best to lock motorbikes up away from public view.
“At this time of year, there are a lot of motorcycles out and about and it is important that when away from home you park in safe, well-lit areas, not in secluded spots where somebody could tamper with your bike without being seen.”
Three deaths underline danger for bikers on roads
RENEWED calls for caution have been made following the deaths of three bikers in three days over the holiday weekend.
The roads of North Yorkshire are a magnet for motorcyclists from all over the region – but last year a total of 28 riders were killed on them.
Despite all the warnings, the figures are beginning to creep up again this year, with one biker killed last Saturday and two more in separate accidents on Bank Holiday Monday. That takes the 2004 total to five.
“These deaths act to underline all our concerns about motorcycling in this county,” said a police spokesman yesterday.
“All our efforts, both in enforcement of traffic rules and education about the dangers, will continue.
“But it is not just about persuading the motorcyclists of the dangers – it is about making all the other road users aware of the issues too.”
The first accident was on Saturday afternoon when Jonathan Stokes, 38, from Scarborough, died in a collision with a Ford Escort on the A171 Whitby to Scarborough road.
The second fatality happened on Monday morning as a group of motorcyclists rode south on the unclassified road between Greenhow and Blubberhouses, near Harrogate. The rider of a red Honda died when he collided with a cattle trailer being towed by a silver Vauxhall pick-up.
A third man died at about 9.30pm the same day in an horrific incident.
His machine exploded after colliding with a horse and cart on the A162 bypass at Sherburn-in-Elmet, which with Helmsley is one of the county’s popular biker gathering places.
Little was left of the motorcycle after the explosion, while debris from the wooden cart was scattered over a wide area.
The horse bolted after the accident and was believed to have escaped unhurt. The driver of the horse and cart was taken to hospital suffering from shock, but was otherwise uninjured.
Late yesterday afternoon the road was still closed.
Even police were shocked at the devastation. Sergeant John Settle said he had seen nothing like it in 26 years with the force.
“The motorbike almost completely disintegrated and the trailer, which was made out of some substantial timber, shattered,” he said.
Police in Darlington are appealing for witnesses to a accident involving a motorcyclist yesterday morning. Officers attended Woodland Road at 5.45am after an anonymous call about a motorbike which had crashed into a skip.
No one was at the scene of the accident but police later discovered that the 51-year-old rider of the bike was being treated at Darlington Memorial Hospital for an injured spleen. An ambulance did not attend.
Inspector Brian Maudling, of Darlington police, said officers had not yet been able to interview the crash victim.
“It is a mystery how it happened and officers are still investigating how he came to collide with the skip,” he said.
Motorbike safety film launched.
A short film highlighting the big increases in the numbers of deaths and accidents caused by motorcyclists on Britain’s roads has been released.
The Department of Transport has said the rise involves riders on powerful sports bikes, especially at weekends.
Police forces have recorded some motorcyclists riding on Britain’s roads at speeds of 150mph.
The government is targeting 30 to 40-year-old males who are willing to spend between £4,000 and £5,000 on a bike.
Some polices forces have said that the total numbers killed on their roads last year rose simply because of motorcyclists.
Last year in Northamptonshire alone, where motorcyclists converge on Silverstone at this time of year for the start of the biking season, 122 motorcyclists were killed or seriously injured on the county’s roads compared to 90 in 2002 – a 36% increase.
Like many police forces in Britain, Northamptonshire has launched a campaign to deal with the problem.
Measures include training motorcyclists and more high visibility police patrols with enforcement of speed and rider behaviour.
Superbiking and sports bikes have grown more popular in recent years with hundreds of bikers taking to Britain’s roads during the summer weekends.
These can range from dual carriageways to country lanes, but some are not sticking to national speed limits wherever they are riding.
A growing number are going sensation or adrenalin seeking where they attempt to go as fast as they can, quite often trying to see how quickly they can ride round a sharp corner or carry out stunts on roads.
Motorcyclists have also been known to attach a camera to their bike, one man filmed himself travelling at 120mph and died after overtaking on a blind bend.
The government safety video, which aims to get into the psychology of sports bike riders, will be shown on motoring programmes and in cinemas.
Biker fuming as thieves go unpunished
A Shropshire travel fanatic whose 22-year-old rare motorbike was stolen and damaged says he is “fuming” that a man found with the bike is not being prosecuted.
Nick de Salis with his Honda SuperDream bike which was stolen and damaged
Police officers discovered the stolen 250cc Honda SuperDream motorbike, a collector’s item, outside a house in Broseley last week – around a month after it was stolen.
Owner Nick de Salis, 66, of Much Wenlock, says the motorbike, which was worth £750, is now worth just £150 because of damage caused to it.
Police later arrested a man who claimed it had been sold to him for just £20 but Mr de Salis has been told by the Crown Prosecution Service that the case will not be taken to court – despite the man being charged with handling stolen goods.
Now he says he is furious that no-one has been brought to justice for stealing the bike, which was taken from his locked garage in Barrow Street, Much Wenlock.
Mr de Salis, who is semi-retired, said: “I have owned motorbikes since I was 16 and I have travelled all over Europe on this particular bike.
“I have really looked after it and so it has risen in value because it is quite a collector’s items now. I was pleased when it was found but it is worth just £150 now because of all the damage done to it and it would cost too much to have it repaired all at once.
“I have been told it has been decided not to prosecute and it just leaves me absolutely fuming.
“I was very angry anyway to think that someone had stolen my bike but then to hear that no action is going to be taken just seems wrong.”
Inspector Andy Thomas, Bridgnorth police chief, said police were unable to prove who had stolen the bike.
“It can be very frustrating but we are not responsible for the decision made by the Crown Prosecution Service,” he added.
BMF WELCOMES BIKER-FRIENDLY ROAD DESIGN STUDY
Is this real concern or just anti bikes?
Barriers bid to end bikers nuisance
BARRIERS are to be erected to prevent off-road bikers from using a public footpath.
Derwentside District Council has voted to put up the gates on the link between Eggleston Drive, in Templetown, and Buddle Street, in Delves Lane, near Consett.
It means walkers can still enjoy the path, but bikers will not be able to get their machines on to the right of way.
The move follows complaints by villagers.
In September last year, residents in Eggleston Drive and Mickleton Close wrote to the authority, urging it to close the path immediately. The council sent out letters to 400 householders in a consultation exercise and the majority asked for the barriers.
Gavin Northwood, who lives on the Burnside estate, next to the path, said: “There is frequent and inappropriate use of the pathway by scrambler motorbikes, which are raced up and down at high speeds, presenting danger to pedestrians.
“Young children often congregate in the opening to the pathway and would clearly suffer serious injury if coming into contact with one of these bikes.”
In one instance, he had nearly backed into a biker while reversing his car.
“On another occasion, my wife was almost knocked down while walking from the drive on to the main path running along the houses to the estate,” he said.
He said residents’ lives had also been blighted by youths gathered at the Eggleston Drive entrance to the path, leading to vandalism and criminal damage, and by rowdy revellers returning from town centre nightclubs on weekends.
Councillor Alex Watson, leader of the district council, said: “This has been causing a problem for residents and we have responded to improve their quality of life.”
Bikers facing Moors crackdown.
BIKERS who tear along green lanes and across moorland on the North York Moors – damaging the lanes and destroying the tranquility – are facing a tough crackdown.
Irresponsible motorcyclists are facing on-the-spot fines and even confiscation of their machines, and joint operations involving national park rangers and police are taking place.
A report to the North York Moors National Park Authority, by recreation and access officer Karl Gerhardsen, revealed that over the last two years, there has been a dramatic increase in two activities which cause problems for both residents and park users:
The intensive use in winter of green lanes by motorbikes, quad bikes and 4X4s, which has damaged some routes so much that they are impassable on foot.
The riding of off-road motorbikes on footpaths, bridleways, private tracks, open moorland and forests.
He said there was a long tradition of motor sports in the park, with events including car rallies, motorcycle trials and vintage tractor rallies.
Stringent regulations and guidelines helped to ensure that the events were operated to a very high standard.
Mr Gerhardsen said: “In this carefully-managed environment, problems of damage or conflict with visitors or residents are rare, but the clubs are concerned that irresponsible use of the park by some drivers and motorcyclists is reducing opportunities for legitimate motor sport.”
Off-road motorbikes were causing unacceptable noise, disturbance and even physical threat to people enjoying quiet recreation in otherwise tranquil areas.
He said meetings had been held with motorcycle club representatives to promote responsible riding, but the clubs acknowledged that the problem was now so bad that only the high-profile prosecution of offenders was likely to show any marked impact. Forest Enterprise had been using barriers and signs to reduce illegal driving in its forests, and Park Rangers had been to the hot-spots to try to educate and inform irresponsible riders.
Now rangers were to be trained in the production of witness statements so the police could better use them to pursue illegal riders.
“A sustained programme of joint operations has begun,” he said.
“Six rangers took police officers to a number of locations across the park where motorcyclists were stopped. Fixed penalty notices were served on the spot and riders told to present their documents to the police. Follow-up work is continuing and may lead to successful operations.”
Motorcyclist jailed after wheelie
A 25-year-old motorcyclist has been jailed for 18 months after injuring two pedestrians when he lost control while doing a wheelie in Norwich.
On Wednesday at Norwich Crown Court, Ian Ames, of Mill Lane, Kirby Bedon, admitted dangerous driving on his 900cc Kawasaki in Red Lion Street.
Last October he was riding on its back wheel when he lost control and hit a student, 16, and a man of 60.
He was also banned from driving for three years.
The court heard that the 60-year-old man’s jaw and knee were broken in the incident.
Michael Clare, representing Ames, said his client – who runs his own electrical business – was genuinely remorseful for what had happened.
2 Stories from Scotland. If they are Bike Thieves, I for one have no sympathy…
Two hurt in motorbike crash.
A teenager and a man were injured when a stolen motorcycle crashed into a lamppost in Edinburgh, police said.
As the motorcycle approached traffic lights on London Road, it mounted the kerb, struck the lamppost and then an industrial bin in the roadway.
The driver, aged 17, and a 21-year-old passenger, were taken to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary with serious injuries.
Two injured as motorbike crashes in police pursuit
TWO men are in hospital with serious injuries after a motorbike crashed during a police pursuit.
The men, aged 17 and 21, suffered multiple injuries when the powerful Yamaha bike smashed into a lamp-post in Montrose Terrace in the early hours of yesterday morning.
Both men were taken to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary where their condition was today described as “serious but stable”.
Police pursued the bike along London Road and turned on their blue lights when the bike sped off through traffic lights before crashing.
Police said they are keen to trace any witnesses to the incident, particularly passengers in a people-carrier who passed through the lights at the same time as the bike.
A spokesman for Lothian and Borders Police said: “We are keen to speak with anyone who saw the bike before the accident and as it approached the lights at Montrose Terrace.
“There were several passengers in a people-carrier who we believe may have seen the bike but were perhaps not aware of the outcome when the bike passed through the lights.
“The 17-year-old driver suffered leg and hand injuries and the 21-year-old passenger suffered multiple injuries, including head and neck injuries.
“They are both in the ERI receiving treatment.”
West Midlands Police are keen to get a road safety message across to off-road bikers and educate those tempted to break the law.
Officers based at Dudley have been contacted by members of the public concerned at the misuse of bikes.
PC Keith Scott, from Dudley, said: “Riders or pillion passengers or any other people found to be taking part in these illegal activities may be liable to prosecution.
“As the owner of a machine, even if you are not the rider, you can still be prosecuted and parents who allow their children to use these vehicles referred to as scramblers or trial bikes may be held responsible for the action of their children.
“The inappropriate use of these machines inevitably leads to accidents, sometimes people can be very seriously injured.”
Anyone who has information on those taking part in this illegal activity can contact officers at Dudley on 0845 1135000.
Scun-thorpe again…Any members in the area should take extra care!!
REWARD OFFERED AFTER BIKE THEFT
A Man has offered a £500 reward after the theft of his prized off-road motorbike.
The bike, belonging to Adam Johnston (21), was stolen from his home in Bottesford during the early hours on Wednesday. The reward is on offer to anyone giving information which leads to the successful prosecution of the offenders and return of the bike.
Burglars broke into the house at 12.30am. They stole keys to the garage and to the bike, an off-road Honda CRF 450cc.
The burglars then gained access to the garage and stole the bike, a red and white model worth almost £4,000. As it was an off-road bike, It did not have a registration number.
They also stole items of motorbiking kit, such as helmets, leathers and tools.
Mr Johnston said he used to ride his bike at locations around North Lincolnshire, and said he was ‘gutted’ when it was stolen.
“I decided to put up this reward because at the moment I am just desperate to get my bike back,” he said.
Mr Johnston explained his bike was worth £3,500, but he had done ‘hundreds of pounds worth of work on it’.
“The bike is quite distinctive, and someone in the Scun-thorpe area must know for sure who stole it,” he said.
Scun-thorpe Police are investigating the theft.
Det Insp Steve Clay, of Scun-thorpe Police, said he suspected the burglars specifically targeted the bike.
“They went to great lengths to get this bike so they knew what they were doing,” he said.
Det Insp Clay asked anyone with information to contact police on (01724) 282888. Mr Johnston can be contacted on 07763 730355.
Take a look at..
Motrcycle Industry (MCI) on scameras, in the Speed Camera Section
Motorcyclist fined £30 because number plate was too small.
MOTORCYCLIST Tony Johnson was slapped with a £30 fine by police for having a number plate just two centimetres too small.
Tony was riding his pride and joy, a shiny black Yamaha Royal Star Cruiser, (XV16) along Vale Road, Rhyl on St David’s Day when he was flagged down by police.
A flabbergasted Tony, 52, said: “I passed a police car and a police motorcyclist who were parked. I wasn’t speeding. As I got to the Football Club they just waved me to the side.
“The police officer asked me if I knew why they’d stopped me and I said No. He said it was because of the number plate, which was too small.
“The police officer went down on his knees and measured it and said it was two centimetres too small.”
Tony was then handed a £30 fine.
Tony, 52, of Maes Helyg, Rhuddlan, is a nurse working at residential care homes and says he’s not a “young tearaway”.
He added: “It’s the principle. I could understand the police stopping me if I had been speeding, the bike hadn’t been taxed or wasn’t roadworthy but I am meticulous with everything to do with the bike, which cost me nearly £10,000.
“It beggars belief.”
Only in Brainstorm Land!!
THIEVES TOOK CAR TO TOW STOLEN BIKE.
A Quad bike and a trailer were stolen from a property in Scotter on Monday night.The burglars also stole a Range Rover and used the vehicle to tow the trailer with the quad bike away from the scene of the burglary. The burglary took place at a home on Kirton Road in Scotter. It took place between 9.30pm on Monday and 7.30am on Tuesday.The intruders gained entry to the property by forcing their way through a barn padlock.They then loaded a green Yamaha quad bike on to an Ifor Williams four-wheel trailer.The burglars then attached the trailer to the Range Rover and drove off over a field.The Range Rover bears the registration number L24 PVT.Lincolnshire Police are now investigating the burglary.
Biker killed in van collision.
A motorcyclist died after crashing into the side of a van, an inquest heard.
The Rider was overtaking the Ford Transit on the A4130 Milton to Didcot link road, when it began turning right into a side entrance.
Oxford Coroner’s Court heard that the rider, a labourer, had braked too late. He was travelling at about 60mph, the speed limit.
The married father-of-two, who had been on his way home to Mendip Heights, Didcot, on March 23 last year, was flung from his Kawasaki upon impact. He landed under the vehicle and died minutes after paramedics arrived.
The van Driver, of Pembroke Lane, Milton, said he had not seen the motorcyclist in his mirror.
Accident investigator Pc Geoffrey Chambers said: “It’s very, very difficult to blame the Transit driver. The motorcyclist needs to take some degree of responsibility for awareness of speed and what’s going on in front of him.”
Oxfordshire coroner Nicholas Gardiner recorded a verdict of accidental death.
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