What’s around the corner?

OFFICERS in Police Scotland Tayside Division will be taking to the popular bike routes in Perthshire this weekend in a bid to educate riders and tackle those who flout the law.

The ‘Around the Corner’ campaign will see a mix of high visibility and unmarked road policing patrols take to the roads over the holiday weekend to educate and enforce.

Motorcyclists stopped will be encouraged to look at special maps of the routes regularly used by recreational motorcyclists - routes that have also given rise to a very high proportion of personal injury motorbike collisions.

One of the maps shows the Strathtay Route which covers 123 miles and the second map is of the Strathearn Route which covers 102 miles of scenic Perthshire.

Both maps give riders general road safety advice, locations of safety camera sites, where fuel and food stops are, and specific information about the roads and where there are hazards such as sharp bends, industrial areas, and the potential for animals crossing.

The maps are available online at http://www.safetayside.co.uk/road-safety-/motorcyclists.html

Inspector Grant Edward, in charge of road policing in the Perth and Kinross area, stressed just how important the motorcycle route safety maps were in trying to combat the disproportionate number of motorcycling casualties on roads within the area, where over half of all motorcycle casualties in Tayside occur.

He said: “Analysis carried out by the Tayside Safety Camera Partnership has shown that the extensive rural road network within the Perth and Kinross area has been recognised by motorcyclists as one of the most attractive for weekend motorcycling in the United Kingdom.

“The number of recreational motorcyclists using the rural roads network particularly between May and October has shown a marked increase particularly at the weekends, and predominately on a Sunday afternoon.

“Unfortunately this has led to a corresponding increase in the number of personal injury collisions involving motorcyclists. The number of riders and passengers that are killed or seriously injured is an area of casualty reduction that is of extreme concern. There has also been a corresponding increase in the number of complaints received from residents of Perthshire communities and other road users with regard to the excessive speeds of some of the motorcycles, their aggressive manner of riding, the anti social nature of use and the excessive noise that the bikes can produce.”

Inspector Edwards went on: “These types of incidents illustrate the need for our ongoing engagement with the motorcycling community. That’s why we have developed this proactive initiative to impart sound site specific road safety advice to motorcyclists using the scenic road network in the Perth and Kinross area.

“It provides an opportunity for us to actively engage with the motorcycling community who are attracted from all over the United Kingdom to our scenic roads. I am sincerely hopeful that our involvement in this initiative will be seen as a positive measure to try and reduce the number of motorcycling casualties.”

He concluded: “Motorcyclists should also be aware that they must play their part in making our roads safer by driving with due consideration for other road users and, of course, legally, ensuring they are wearing appropriate personal protection and that their bikes are properly maintained. They should be prepared for the unexpected and should take heed of the informed advice given to them by officers.”

Tayside Safety Camera Partnership will be working in known collision site areas this weekend to deter drivers and motorcyclists from speeding and in turn help reduce the number of casualties on Tayside roads.