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Last Updated: Sunday, 16 March 2008, 14:56 GMT
Crackdown on 'race track' bikers
Speeding bikers who were later banned (Picture - North Wales Police)
The campaign will use police helicopters to catch speeding bikers
A crackdown on bikers who speed and ride dangerously on Welsh roads has been launched in Abergavenny, south Wales.

Wales' four police forces will use helicopters, unmarked cars and camera bikes to cut motorcycle-related deaths.

A total of 43 bikers or their pillion passengers were killed in Wales during 2007, the highest total since 1984.

Police said responsible bikers were welcome but they planned to stop groups "treating roads as a race track".

Gwent Police is launching the month-long first phase of the campaign at Abergavenny bus station.

Ch Insp John Pavett said the average age of the bikers or pillion passengers killed last year was 38.

He said: "The fact that Wales has some excellent biking roads, together with lower traffic levels than many parts of the UK, attracts many riders to the area, particularly at weekends and when the weather is good.

Riding tips

"This high volume of motorcyclists using Welsh roads increases the possibility of poor riding standards and subsequently the number of injury road traffic collisions.

"It is our intention to reduce the number of motorcyclists killed and seriously injured on our roads by providing a high visibility presence, enforcing road traffic legislation and educating riders on safe motorcycling."

The force said the crackdown on anti-social and dangerous riding would target areas with high road casualty rates and use unmarked camera bikes and cars and helicopters to patrol routes.

Other activities in the campaign include the educational initiative Bikesafe 2008, which offers riders workshops and ride-outs with police motorcyclists.

The website Wales by Bike aims to give riding tips and suggested routes for visiting bikers.

In 2006, North Wales Police Chief Constable Richard Brunstrom compared two motorcyclists filmed from a helicopter riding at nearly 100mph to an "episode of the Wacky Races cartoon".



SEE ALSO
Bike parks ban idea after deaths
05 Nov 07 |  North West Wales
Biker dies in four-vehicle crash
12 Oct 07 |  South East Wales
Speed warnings to country bikers
01 Aug 07 |  Mid Wales

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