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“Operation Octane will target roads that have seen a high number of motorcyclist deaths or injuries. These crashes are all too often caused by riders overtaking, travelling too close to other vehicles or at inappropriate speeds. We hope that this hard hitting campaign will drive home the message that reckless riders won’t be tolerated.”The latest figures show that motorcyclists account for around 21 per cent of those killed or seriously injured on Staffordshire’s roads despite the fact they only represent one per cent of all road traffic. Nine bikers were killed in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent last year with a further 59 being seriously injured and 289 sustaining minor injuries. In 2009, Operation Octane initiatives saw more than 400 riders pulled over and offered biker safety tips, rider enhancement training and general road safety advice. Staffordshire County Council’s Cabinet member for Environment Mike Maryon – a motorcyclist himself – said:
“Bikers that ride sensibly with consideration for themselves and other road users have nothing to fear from this campaign. However, those that ride recklessly, take unnecessary risks or carry out dangerous overtaking manoeuvres will be targeted. Offending bikers may be directed to an appropriate rider training course, face a fixed penalty notice or even prosecution. “We want to make 2010 the safest year for bikers ever. With a commitment from riders and drivers to look after themselves and others, we have a real chance of achieving this.”