As part of an ongoing initiative to help reduce the number of casualties involved in motorcycle collisions, officers from the Roads Policing Unit visited Betws-y-Coed yesterday (Sunday, September 3) as part of North Wales Police’ Op Darwen campaign.
With the warm and sunny weather predicted, it was the perfect time for officers to get out to deliver their message as part of the campaign, which aims to promote rider safety and raise awareness of the risks and behaviours which can lead to motorcycle related fatal and serious injury collisions.
Police motorcyclists visited the area, which is a popular meeting spot frequented by motorcyclists, and spoke with riders of all ages.
Sergeant Jason Diamond, Operational lead for Op Darwen on behalf of North Wales Police’ Roads Policing Unit said: “Sadly, statistically, motorcyclists are some of the most vulnerable road users and they are affected disproportionately by collisions.
“North Wales is a magnet for motorcyclists due to the beauty of the area, and as a keen biker myself, I know that I and my fellow motorcyclist colleagues not only understand the risks, but we are passionate about how we can work together to reduce these statistics. Reducing the number of people who are killed or seriously injured on the roads continues to be a priority.
“Every death and serious injury on our roads has a devastating impact, so yesterday was an opportunity to speak to riders about how they can play their part in reducing the number of deaths or serious injuries suffered by the motoring public, this includes travelling at an appropriate speed for the road and conditions, wearing suitably rated protective clothing and helmet and being understanding of the effects that any amount of alcohol/drugs could have on a rider/driver.
“We’re not trying to stop motorcyclists from riding on the roads, we’re trying to stop them from dying on them. Come here – ride safe, go home and repeat. Come here, ride dangerously, lose your licence – or your life. It’s your choice.”
Using the strapline Will you get home tonight special goody bags – containing leaflets signposting further training, a buff/snood and a keyring were distributed as part of the engagement day.
Sergeant Diamond added: “We’ve carefully planned these bags – with the hope that the motorcyclist will remember the chat we’ve had and keep it in mind when they next go out on their bike.
“The feedback we had yesterday was extremely positive We spoke to many motorcyclists of all ages – local and from over the border. We hope that they all took something from the meet. Further events are planned for next year and we’d urge you to keep an eye on our website and social media channels for more information.”
During the day demonstrations were given by ORMS (Outreach Rescue Medic Skills) regarding the safe removal of a motorcycle helmet and a demonstration of the airvest.
Richard Birkby from ORMS said: “This was a valuable opportunity for us to promote our First Bike on Scene (FBOS) courses – a Welsh Government-funded initiative which is supported by all local authorities across North Wales.
“Riders can gain essential skills to help protect themselves and others, including scene safety, CPR, evidence preservation and safe crash helmet removal.
“Courses are run on selected Sundays from our dedicated facility near Bethesda, Gwynedd and I would encourage all bikers to take advantage of this fantastic opportunity.”
In 2022, 87 motorcycles were involved in serious collisions. 73% of these were due to rider error.
North Wales Police are also encouraging motorcyclists to partake in a BikeSafe workshop - a national police-led initiative aimed at working with motorcyclists to develop key skills around riding and safety. The day-long workshops include classroom-based theory, looking at causation factors and solutions and an assessment ride where participants get vital feedback.