Northampton firm Wollaston Motors has donated a BMW R1150RS to Northamptonshire Road Policing Unit to help improve road safety in the county.
The bike will be mainly used by officers carrying out BikeKraft assessments to help improve riding skills and awareness, and has been fully-liveried with the BikeKraft logo. It will also be used to carry out casualty reduction patrols on the county’s 14 motorcycle Red Routes, which are roads which have been identified as particularly dangerous for bikers.
Wollaston Motors decided to donate the bike as ten of its staff have completed rider assessments with the BikeKraft scheme.
" We felt that donating a motorcycle would raise awareness of the scheme, " said motorcycle manager Richard Higgs. " All our motorcycle staff have had assessments and it’s also open to other employees. "
The police are worried about an increase in fatalities, with 13 riders killed on Northamptonshire’s roads so far in 2003, compared with 7 in 2002.
" Over the past few years, there has been a steady increase in road casualties involving motorcyclists, and statistics say riders aged 17-24 and 35-55 are most at risk, " said Chief Superintendent Stuart Kilpatrick.
" It is recognised that riders are not solely responsible for collisions and in many cases they are the innocent victims of other motorists careless or dangerous actions. We hope this bike will help us in our efforts to reduce the number of bikers killed or injured. "
The BikeKraft course consists of three stages. The first stage is a free assessed ride with a Northamptonshire Police motorcyclist. The second is advanced rider tuition with the Institute of Advanced Motorists, and the third is an IAM test with a police examiner.
For more details about the BikeKraft course, contact PC327 John Spencer, Road Policing Unit, Mere Way Police Station, Northampton, NN4 8BH, or call 01694-888528.
Do you think there should be more focus on training schemes rather than speed cameras? See MCN, November 12, for the MCN campaign to support realistic and sensible ways to make our riding lives safer and better.