North Yorks clampdown
Here’s how Assistant Chief Constable Collins describes the campaign in 2005:
“I will spell out our position - We welcome motorcyclists to North Yorkshire. We enjoy the colour and spirit of fellowship they bring and the money they spend.
“We do not welcome racers and risk-takers. We do not welcome riders whose skill is not up the performance of their machines. We see the consequences of their behaviour close up and first hand.
“We do not welcome that immature minority who put adolescent behaviour before the feelings of other people. I am talking about wheelie show-offs, doughnut artists and, especially, those who demonstrate their virility by fitting ear-splitting race exhausts to their machines. Many people live here, many others visit ; there is no reason why the selfish antics of a minority should ruin the enjoyment of the law-abiding majority - which includes an enormous number of fellow-riders, who are embarrassed by the behaviour of their infantile cousins.
“My message to this minority of riders is this: ‘If you behave badly in North Yorkshire, we will catch you. And after we have caught you, bad things will happen to you.”
Expect to see:
extra high-profile patrols
regular patrols and speed enforcement operations on roads identified as having bad records for motorcycle accidents or complaints of anti-social rider behaviour.
special action days for large motorcycle events such as race meetings at Croft or Scarborough. Officers will again work with other forces to create a region-wide co-ordinated safety/enforcement campaign
the force’s award-winning Bike Safe education strategy will continue, with officers sharing their experience and specialist knowledge with riders who are willing to improve their technique
The campaign will use a range of speed measurement devices and Automatic Number Plate Recognition systems which automatically read the number plates of passing vehicles and check them against databases including police intelligence and tax and insurance records.
North Yorkshire police are warning riders they’ll be tough on us again this year with a fast-track to court for offenders.
Many of us will raise a wry smile at the fact that last year’s crack down resulted in 48 riders ending up in the dock – and 372 drivers…
But the force is pitching its campaign as a dedicated effort to save riders lives – and in that it has seen results. There has been a reduction in rider and pillion deaths – from 28 in 2004 to 17 in 2005. That’s why, they say, the hard line remains.
Yet, in his statement of intent, Assistant Chief Constable David Collins picks out riders using loud aftermarket end cans for particular attention.
“We do not welcome that immature minority who put adolescent behaviour before the feelings of other people… especially, those who demonstrate their virility by fitting ear-splitting race exhausts to their machines,” he says.
Noise may be a nuisance but it’s rarely a killer, we say. Some motorcyclists even argue that ‘loud cans save lives’. To make loud cans a priority in a campaign which is meant to be about saving lives is not likely to endear North Yorks police.