Road safety campaign to cut bike deaths

A road safety poster campaign to help reduce the number of motorcycle-related accidents on Norfolk's major routes for motorcyclists is being re-launched next week .

A road-safety poster campaign to help reduce the number of motorcycle-related accidents on Norfolk's major routes for motorcyclists is being re-launched next week.

Although the total number of people killed or seriously injured on the county's roads fell last year, the figure for motorcyclists increased by 12 during 2006 compared to 2005.

Posters reading "Think Bike" and "Overtaking?" will appear on stretches of road popular with motorcyclists across the county for six months during the spring, summer and autumn.

The announcement came as MPs called for a government study into the possibility of introducing speed limiters on motorbikes.

Motorcycle accident rates were "far too high" and it was time for "radical action", a report from the House of Commons Transport Committee added.

The posters will be sited on the roadside on the A149 King's Lynn to Hunstanton; the A10 near Downham Market; the A134 west of Thetford; the A149 between Stalham and Yarmouth; the A143 Haddiscoe bends; the A140 between Aylsham and Norwich and some stretches of road in Norwich.

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Peter Walton, area road-safety officer for Norfolk County Council, said: "This type of campaign makes sure that drivers and riders are prompted into thinking about their actions. A reminder for even more respect and consideration for the different types of road user should never go amiss."

PC Michael Edney, casualty reduction officer for Norfolk police, added: "These signs raise awareness with all road users and not just motorcyclists and are all the more effective as they are only in place for a short period of time. This way, road users do not get used to them or take them for granted."

In a report on the government's motorcycling strategy, the House of Commons Transport Committee said motorbike accident rates had been far too high for 10 years. MPs said a case had been made to the committee for limiting the speed of more powerful motorcycles, though some technical issues needed to be resolved.

The committee said the government had to support the development of cleaner bikes and the fact that heavier bikes were more polluting than cars was possibly another argument in favour of "reducing the maximum power and speed that is available on these vehicles".

The proposals were welcomed by road-safety charity BRAKE, whose head of education Jools Townsend said: "With many motorcyclists and drivers willing to risk their own lives - and the lives of others - by speeding, it's crucial that we develop measures to prevent this deadly behaviour on our roads."