Accidents rise in area

As Operation Zenith enters its final phase for 2012, Grampian Police have issued a plea for bikers to take care for the final month of the bike riding season.

Inspector Kevin Wallace, of Road Policing, said recent accident figures had been “disappointing”, with 12 serious collisions in September this year, compared with eight last year.

In addition, there have been 72 serious collisions involving motorcycles this year up until the end of September, compared with 59 for the whole of 2011. This going against the positive reduction in collisions seen since the operation started in 2009.

To coincide with the safety message, Transport Scotland will be using their road signage boards across the north-east to display messages urging bikers to take care.

Inspector Wallace said: “As a motorcyclist, for every mile you travel you are 50 times more likely to be involved in a road traffic collision than any other group of road users and this startling statistic is one we as a partnership have been working hard to reduce.

“It is disappointing, however, that recent statistics have shown an increase from last year in the number of motorcycle accidents.

“From our experience it tends to be the same few behaviours for both car drivers and motorcyclists which catch folk out, and which can lead to serious or fatal consequences. These include driving too fast, inappropriate overtaking, poor positioning, poor observation and driving too close to the vehicle in front.

“As summer rolls into autumn, and daylight hours get shorter, road conditions can and do change dramatically during the course of a journey.

“Drivers and riders should be aware of this, and of how it can affect their riding/driving. We ask that they are realistic about their own abilities and keep their observations up and their speed down.

“Thinking about what is happening around you and planning for hazards or what may develop, can go a long way to making your journey a successful and safe one. This ability comes with experience and training, which is invaluable to all road users and Zenith allows us to concentrate our efforts in helping motorcyclists.

“This year in addition to routine policing we have carried out additional patrols, run training events and attended motorcycle events with our Zenith partners to raise awareness and improve safety.”

Leslie Harrold, of Road Safety Grampian, added: “Bikers have a lot less protection than car drivers, and are much more likely to wind up injured when involved in a collision. That is why it is so important for Road Safety Grampian and police officers to work hand-in-hand with the NHS, local councils, roads authorities and other local agencies to ensure we are doing all we possibly can to reduce the risk of accidents in Grampian.”