A road safety campaign launched in spring by the Safer Northumberland Partnership to warn bikers about the dangers of speeding and cornering has been a success.
For the past three years, Northumberland County Council, Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service and Northumbria Police have led an initiative aimed at cutting motorbike related accidents on the county’s roads.
This year, the eye-catching yellow signs warning bikers about the dangers of speeding and cornering, were put up on rural roads in key locations where police have received reports of dangerous driving.
A survey conducted in October by Northumbria Police has revealed 38% of motorcycle riders who saw the signs said they would change the way they handled their vehicle in the longer term. The survey also revealed 68% of respondents said they thought the campaign was effective, compared to 60% in 2012.
Councillor Dave Ledger, Deputy Leader of Northumberland County Council said: “We hope that these signs will continue to have a positive impact on the behaviour of people who may otherwise drive dangerously on our county’s roads”.
The original scheme was launched in 2010 due to concerns about bikers riding dangerously on country roads.
Alex Bennett, chief fire office for Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service said: “The signs remind people of the potentially horrific consequences of driving irresponsibly, or at speed. We want bikers, drivers and their passengers to enjoy the countryside but to treat the area with respect and understand the hazards presented on rural roads.”
Chief Inspector Aidan Sloan of Northumbria Police said: “Tackling concerns of dangerous and unsafe driving is one of the main priorities for police in Northumberland. Each year, we aim to reduce the number of collisions in the area, particularly those involving motorbikes on the rural roads.
“By working together with partners, we want to warn bikers of the dangers of driving too quickly or without full care and attention on these roads – any careless actions could result in serious injury for themselves or others.
“Bikers do tend to be out on the roads more during the summer months, when the weather is warmer and nights lighter, which is why the campaign runs from March to October. The signs give people a strong reminder to take it easy and be vigilant out on the roads. The survey results prove the signs are getting the message across to motorcyclists about the dangers of speeding and we are seeing an overall reduction in motorbike-related collisions. We want to continue to ensure the rural roads of Northumberland are safer for everyone.”
The road safety signs were erected by officers from Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service and were displayed from April to October. The campaign was underpinned by motor patrol officers and local neighbourhood officers from Northumbria Police who took positive action with anyone caught speeding or riding dangerously.