Bikers taking to a popular rural road are being urged to view a new video guide which is aimed at helping to spot hazards and stay safe.
The County Durham and Darlington Road Safety Partnership, which is led by Durham County Council’s road safety team and Durham Constabulary’s roads and armed policing unit, has produced a video route guide for bikers who plan to use the B6277 road from Middleton-in-Teesdale to the county’s border.
As the late spring rolls into summer and the weather improves, more bikers are likely to be out on the roads, leading to an increased risk of casualties. The Platinum Jubilee bank holiday weekend also looks set to be favourable weather-wise for many bikers to get out.
The aim of the guide is to remind bikers to take an extra look before pulling out, while also encouraging them to take regular breaks, watch out for slow-moving vehicles on rural roads, and avoid overtaking on bends.
During the five-year period between 2017 and 2021, 405 motorcyclists were injured or killed on roads in the Durham Constabulary force area. Of those, 205, were seriously injured while 14 were killed.
Cllr Elizabeth Scott, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for economy and partnerships, said: “While motorcyclists account for less than one per cent of miles travelled in the force area, they account for 19 per cent of people killed or seriously injured. The number of biker casualties in the county has continued to fall over the last five years, but we are not complacent and want to see the figures reduce further.
“However, just because a high percentage of casualties are bikers, it does not mean that bikers themselves are always at fault. It could be that drivers haven’t seen them at junctions or when overtaking, so we urge motorists to remain vigilant. Bikers are much more vulnerable to serious injury.”
Inspector Kevin Salter, from Durham Constabulary’s roads and armed policing unit, said: “It is crucial to keep reminding drivers and bikers of the dangers of being on the road and how to take measures to keep themselves safe.
“We urge everyone to stay alert, take time when pulling away to double check for other vehicles, especially motorbikes, and to take care on the roads. An extra look both ways really can be a life-saver.”
The video can be seen on the council’s YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/user/DurhamCouncil