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Last Updated: Friday, 25 June, 2004, 11:15 GMT 12:15 UK
Police try to cut biker deaths
Bikers (generic)
Many bikers are tempted by the open roads of rural Wales
Weekend bikers intent on using rural roads in Powys for racing are set to face more police motorcyclists.

Two new police motorcyclists are being introduced, boosting the county's team to seven.

It is, in part, a reaction to last year's record biker death toll when 17 riders were killed in the Dyfed-Powys force area, 12 of these in Powys.

The force claims research and intelligence shows that police motorcyclists are a valuable tool.

We will not tolerate our roads being used as a race track and we will prosecute any rider we catch doing so
Inspector Geraint Rees, Dyfed-Powys Police

Inspector Geraint Rees, who is in charge of roads policing in Powys, said: "These additional motorcyclists will act as a powerful deterrent to any rider who intends to ride irresponsibly or illegally in Powys.

"We want motorcyclists to come to Powys and we encourage safe and responsible riding.

"But we will not tolerate our roads being used as a race track and we will prosecute any rider we catch doing so."

Bikers from the Midlands and south Wales flock at weekends to ride Powys' quiet, rural roads during the summer.


Motorcycle officers
Officers with two of the new police bikes set to hit the roads in Powys

However, motorcycle deaths and other collisions have caused alarm, distress and concern to the emergency services, Powys County Council, families and friends of the riders and residents of Powys, say Dyfed-Powys Police.

Powys police have been working with the county council and other agencies to reduce collisions involving motorcycles and incidents of anti-social riding.

In April, bikers' safety courses were launched amid concern over the rising death toll.

The force's BikeSafe scheme was another response to the 17 motorcyclists who died last year in the area - more than one in three of the 48 people killed in road accidents in the force area.

Riders, some from areas like the English Midlands, have been given tips by expert police officers on improving their technique.

Many of those involved in accidents on Welsh roads are so-called "born again bikers," according to police.

They are usually aged 35 or over with responsible jobs.

Biker death toll highest ever
08 Nov 03  |  North West Wales
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11 Jun 03  |  North East Wales
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19 Apr 03  |  North East Wales

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