Focus falls on Staffs bikers and cyclists during week-long safety operation
Road policing officers are putting the focus on motorbikes, push bikes and electric scooters as part of a week-long safety campaign.
Various activities will take place between April 8 and April 18 around not only enforcement but helping to educate motorists, cyclist and bikers on how everyone can be safe on the county’s roads.
The initiative is being run by Staffordshire Police’s Road Policing Unit who will target areas where bikers have been seriously injured – or killed – along with overseeing a course to help motorcyclists learn new safety techniques.
Part of the week will also be spent focusing on cyclists to make sure they are riding in a safe manner – along with educating motorists on how to safely overtake them.
The operation will also see the unit target the anti-social use of off-road bikes by patrolling known hotspots. It is being run in conjunction with a national campaign to help improve safety motorcyclists and cyclists.
Sergeant Jim Hunt, of the force’s road policing unit, who is overseeing the operation, said: “This week is not just about enforcement – it is about providing some valuable education and prevent serious injury on our roads.
“We will be helping motorists understand the suitable distance they should take when overtaking a cyclist – while we will also be educating cyclists on what is expected of them when on the roads.
“Focusing on motorcyclists, we’ll be out on our bikes and making sure they have the right gear and are riding safely and abiding by the law. We are also running a course to help bikers where we will go out with them and help teach them a safe way to ride.”
The Staffordshire Safety Road Partnership will deploy safety camera vans to areas highlighted as speeding hotspots while the road policing unit, who are being supported over the week by the force’s Special Constabulary, will be supporting neighbouring forces including Cheshire, West Mercia and Derbyshire around biking issues. Officers will also link up with neighbourhood policing teams across the county to help address local issues.
Sergeant Hunt said: “Local issues can include cyclists using areas designated for pedestrians, problematic off-road bikes and the anti-social use of electric scooters.”
The campaign has been backed by Cycling UK. Keir Gallagher, campaign manager with Cycling UK, said: “It’s great to see police forces across the UK working together to remind drivers to take care around people cycling and give plenty of space when overtaking. With lockdown easing and the weather getting warmer, our roads will be getting busier as more people are out riding or driving.
"When you’re driving, remember that overtaking someone cycling too closely can be dangerous, and really intimidating, even if it feels safe from inside the car. Be patient, wait for a safe time to overtake, and give at least 1.5m when passing, which will usually mean using the opposite lane.
"For anyone who wants to brush up on their cycling skills for spring, you can also find video guides and other cycling tips on the Cycling UK website."