[T]he annual ‘North West 200’ motorcycle road race will take place in Coleraine, Northern Ireland, on Saturday 14 May 2016 and police are appealing for drivers in the region to take extra care on the roads as around 3500 motorcycles are expected to travel across the region to attend the event.
These bikes are expected to use the regions roads, particularly the A75 and A77 trunk roads, as the riders travel to the ferry port at Cairnryan to attend the event and back, using the same route when the race is over.
Police are warning motorists to expect high numbers of motorcyclists on these roads from Tuesday 10 May right through to Monday 16 May as riders may their way to and from the event. Generally the motorcyclists travel in groups and therefore are fairly easy to spot, however motorists should be aware that single bikes can suddenly appear and can be difficult to see at times.
Sergeant Billy McEwan from the Road Policing Unit at Stranraer said: “The peak times for bikes travelling to the race will start on Wednesday 11 May, building up to the race on Saturday 14 May. Sunday 15 and Monday 16 May will see the bikes return through our region.
“A policing plan has been developed over the years to assist the motorcyclists to pass safely through our region and it has proved very successful over the years. Once again we will put this plan into operation which will mean increased police patrols all along the A75 and on the A77 roads.
“A common cause of motorcycle crashes is the so-called T-boning of the motorcycle by drivers who either pull out of a junction in front of, or across the path of an oncoming bike to turn right. These collisions could be avoided by drivers taking more care.
“Drivers should remember that motorcyclists are much more vulnerable than drivers, especially in wet conditions. A driver may walk away from a crash that a motorcyclist would not.
“We will have an increased road presence during this time and will focus on accident hotspots and promoting responsible driver and rider behaviour.”