A CAMPAIGN aimed at increasing motorcyclists’ safety awareness has been held in Ryedale following a 200 per cent increase in the number of bikers killed in crashes last year.

Organised by Safer Ryedale, the event was supported by 95 Alive, North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, Ryedale District Council and North Yorkshire Police.

An increase in motorcycling in the area has been accompanied by a huge rise in the number of bikers killed in the county.

Andrew Santon, North Yorkshire County Council road safety officer, said: “We welcome responsible bikers to the county and recognise the vast majority are responsible and considerate in their riding. There are a minority who use our roads like a race track and for those it applies to, they need to show some restraint before they end up in hospital or in court.

“Everybody we spoke to at the event in Helmsley Market Place was enjoying the lovely weather and looking forward to the motorcycle season. However, they we are all hoping it’s going to be a safer season than last year. Our message of sharing the roads was well received.”

The campaign targeted messages at bikers because in North Yorkshire the majority who are killed or seriously injured every year (70 to 75 per cent) crash as a consequence of their own mistakes rather than those caused by other road users, or surface defects. Main reasons for these crashes are loss of control while negotiating bends, loss of control while braking or loss of control while overtaking.

Crashes while overtaking have increased over the last year. Group riding poses more risks than solo riding.

As part of this year’s campaign, Shiny Side Up signs will be placed along the A170, in addition to the B1222, as this route has seen the greatest increase in motorcyclist casualties over the last three years.

PCSO Sean Simpson said: “The motorcycle awareness event held in Helmsley Market Place received excellent feedback from riders and the dry sunny day brought out bikers of all types from the cruisers to the super bikes.

“The main focus of the event was to raise the awareness of bikers. We gave out nearly 200 bike safe packs, which includes advice on riding, a DVD on safe riding and a few other bits and bobs.”