Stay safe on your bike with this new scheme

A high profile motorcycle safety scheme is being rolled out across the county by the Safer Northumberland Partnership.

The initiative builds on the work carried out over the last five years by Northumberland County Council, Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service and Northumbria Police to try to reduce bike-related accidents on the roads.

Around 200 of the bright yellow ‘Shinysideup’ signs, warning bikers about the dangers of speeding and cornering, have been put up on rural roads throughout the county in key locations where police have received reports of dangerous driving.

They will mainly appear on routes leading through Morpeth, Alnwick, Berwick and west Northumberland.

Last year, one motorcyclist was killed on Northumberland’s roads while 29 more were seriously injured and 45 were slightly hurt. This is seven fewer casualties than in 2013.

Ian Billham, strategic community safety and licensing manager at the county council, said: “Over the years, there have been a number of lives lost on roads in the county and working in partnership we are determined we do all we can to reduce this figure.

“We hope these warning signs will continue to have a positive impact on the behaviour of people who may otherwise drive dangerously or in an anti-social manner on our county’s roads.”

Steve Richards, assistant chief fire officer for Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service, said: “These signs remind people of the potential consequences of driving irresponsibly, or at speed.

“We want bikers, drivers and their passengers to enjoy our fantastic countryside but to treat the area with respect and understand the hazards presented on rural roads.”

Northumbria Police Motor Patrols chief inspector John Heckels said: “Making sure the roads are safe is a real priority for police and our partners and we will continue to work to ensure Northumberland remains a safe place for everyone. “This activity forms part of our road safety Operation Dragoon, which is aimed at making the roads safer for everyone, and bikers are a particularly vulnerable group on the roads.

“Northumberland is a popular place for bikers and we want to make sure everyone can enjoy the scenery of the county safely. We hope the signs will help to reduce incidents in the area.”

The road safety signs will be displayed until October, the peak time for motorcycle traffic on Northumberland’s rural roads. The campaign is underpinned by enforcement – motor patrol officers and local neighbourhood officers from Northumbria Police will monitor the county’s roads and take positive action if they see anyone speeding or riding dangerously.

Riders are also being encouraged to log onto www.riderespect.co.uk – a motorcycle rider development scheme run by the council as part of a programme of initiatives to cut motorcycle casualties in Northumberland.

More details on the Shinysideup campaign are available online at www.shinysideup.co.uk