Page last updated at 12:33 GMT, Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Police make motorbike safety plea

The Borders is popular with bikers from inside the region and beyond

Police have issued a safety plea to bikers after improved weather brought increased numbers onto Borders roads.

Officers have launched an initiative aimed at reducing the accident rate on the local routes which attract many bikers from the region and beyond.

Insp Richard Latto of Lothian and Borders Police said the vast majority of bikers behaved responsibly.

However, he said the force would work hard to catch those who tried to "bend the rules" or break speed limits.

This summer police motorbikes will be patrolling routes and stopping and speaking to bikers.

There will also be an increase in marked patrol cars and the use of safety cameras.

'Unfortunate statistic'

Insp Latto said: "The message is - enjoy the scenery, enjoy the environment when you come here but be responsible and ride within your limits."

He said that since the late 1990s there had been a sharp rise in the number of bikers on the region's roads.

"These tend to be men, perhaps middle-aged, who have a bit more disposable income," he said.

"They buy their motorcycles for weekend enjoyment and they act responsibly."

However, he said a small proportion did break the law and that was an "unfortunate statistic" for the area.

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