The early morning, late evening and weekend “road race” season is now in full swing.
I live one-and-a-half miles from both the A682 Blacko to Gisburn road and the A59 Gisburn to Sawley stretch, so I am not directly affected.
However, even at that distance it is possible to identify individual gear changes and make accurate judgement as to where on the route the bikes are and, in many cases, even what make of bike it may be.
The relatively low profile Black and Yellow notices “Think Bike” are now being supplemented with very bright L.E.D. signs carrying the same message. There is one at the beginning of “The Run” out of Blacko at the start of everybody’s favourite, “The Blacko Mile”.
These appear to be aimed at road users other than bikers. It is the bikers’ attitude that needs to be changed. I would suggest as a deterrent “wrecked” motorcycles should be placed approaching some of the many fatal accident sites (not at the site). There are many sites to choose from and a plentiful supply of wrecked machines.
Two things would need to be done. The registration mark and personalised graphics would need to be removed and the bikes would need a security cage around them. No matter how gruesome there will always be someone ready to help themselves.
There may well be arguments against the idea, but I am sure these could be outweighed if only one person took heed and an incident was prevented and a life saved.
Obviously some form of control and inspection would be needed to prevent the wrecks becoming a hazard themselves. They will certainly have more impact than the placing of floral tributes at the accident site, but I am not saying this practise should cease. This is one of the reasons for siting the wrecks away from the actual incident.
Though it might appear my comments are aimed solely at motorcyclists, all the other users of the A682, from pedestrians through pedal cyclists, car drivers and HGV drivers, need to be monitored. What is also required is a higher profile of policing; signs warn of cameras, but I have yet to see one in use between Blacko and Gisburn, though they have been sited in the 30mph area of Blacko itself.
The safety implications of apprehending high speed offenders is fully realised, but camera and communication technology should be put to use to make them aware of their actions by pulling them in at “safe” locations while they are still on their journey and showing them video or still images. This, of course, could be followed up with further action if the situation warranted it.
I write this letter as chairman of Rimington and Middop Parish Council and on behalf of parishioners who live adjacent to the A682. However, it is not only them that are affected. Any person from the wider community could be taken out by the actions of others while travelling on this route. There is ample evidence of the need for something to be done in the raw statistics that will be available for the stretch from Blacko to Gisburn showing the number of fatalities, serious injuries and near misses that don’t make the records. (These show as holes in the walls).