April 22, 2004 at 11:06 am #8774XV16Participant
BIKERS in Peeblesshire have been sent a clear message this week – dangerous riding will not be tolerated.
In new campaign to target speeding motorcyclists, the Lothian and Borders Police Motorcycle Section will use unmarked bikes equipped with video cameras to catch the speeders.
And police hope that succesful prosecutions will hammer home the message that dangerous riding on public roads is unacceptable.
With Honda Pan Europeans, Blackbirds and a Kawasaki ZX9R ready to assist advanced police motorists in upholding the law, targeted speeders stand little to no chance of escaping justice.
As Wednesday’s launch got underway, Sergeant Graham Conner, who has been riding motorbikes for over a decade, told the “Peeblesshire News” that a rise from four motorcycle-related deaths in 2001 to nine last year had prompted immediate action.
He said: “We are aiming this campaign at the motorcycle fraternity because there has been an increase in the number of fatalities over the last three years.
“What we aim to do is run the campaign to encourage safer riding in the area, and by using unmarked bikes, hopefully the minority of idiots who speed will realise that they are not going to get away with it.
“By way of crash analysis data we have identified the places and times of the week that accidents are happening at.
“We are also aware that a lot of bikers come here from different force areas to use the roads and appreciate the scenery – especially now that the lighter nights are arriving,” he added.
As well as having marked patrol cars and umarked bikes and cars, police will be carrying out hand-held radar checks, follow-on checks and high profile patrols with marked bikes.
Sergeant Conner continued: “As well as speed checks we will be looking at the condition of bikes and checking whether they have been stolen, so the campaign is more about innapropriate riding than just speeding —riding without due consideration can cause lots of frustration for other road users and we will be targeting that as well.
“We are looking for the bikers who are doing this so that we can stop them and educate them on these sort of things, but we will be quite harsh on speeding too.
“Over the last three years we have taken more of an educational approach but this year we want to be out in force and anybody caught breaking the law is going to be procecuted,” he warned.
Young adrenalin junkies are not the only ones being targeted however, as elderly bikers experiencing the thrill of riding for a second time in their life — known as “born again bikers” — can expect to be stopped and even prosecuted if their standard of riding is not deemed up to scratch.
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