Police focus their efforts on bikers

Derbyshire Police launching Operation Focus at Cromford Meadows
Derbyshire Police launching Operation Focus at Cromford Meadows
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Cops are targeting problem roads around Matlock as part of a summer campaign to prevent motorcycle accidents.

Derbyshire Police were at Cromford Meadows to launch Operation Focus, which is funded by Derby and Derbyshire Safer Road Partnership and will run for now until September.

Every year bike enthusiasts flock to the area, drawn by it’s scenic countryside and winding roads.

In recent years however, police have seen an increase in the number of accidents and serious injuries involving bikers.

Between January and December 2010 94 motorcyclists were killed or seriously injured on the county’s roads, however this increased to 131 in the same time period last year.

The figure represents 33 per cent of all accidents across Derbyshire.

Officers will carry out patrols on the 13 roads where collisions are most common, which include the A5012 Via Gellia, A632 Matlock to Chesterfield, A621 Baslow to Owler Bar, A619 Bakewell to Chesterfield and the A6 between Ambergate and Buxton.

Insp Adam Waterfall said: “We will be working with the motorcycle fraternity from the enforcement side, there will be increased enforcement of the casualty roads but also wider roads as well to support that in a bid to reduce accidents and dangerous driving.

“We are keen to stress as well that it is not always motorcyclists faults that collisions occur.”

He stressed that there could be a number of factors in road collisions involving bikers.

“You have got hazards such as junctions,” he explained.

“There are weather conditions – in certain parts the roads can be dry, but then they can become wet and very slippery – Via Gellia is a good example of that.

“Excessive speed is obviously a factor as well.”

The partnership will host an event for bikers on Easter Sunday, April 8, at Matlock Bath’s Pavilion car park.

Between 1pm and 4pm, motorcyclists will be able to pick up a free safety guide and find out more about BikeSafe workshops.

Officers are also keen to educate people in motorcycle safety and are urging riders to visit bikesafe.co.uk – a national campaign aimed at reducing the number of bike collisions.

Head of roads policing, Chief Inspector Steve Wilson, said: “We’re not trying to catch bikers out.

“We want them to come to our county and enjoy our roads but most of all, we want them to ride sensibly and safely.”

Further information is available by visiting the campaign’s Facebook page – ‘Derbyshire Bikers’.