Young bikers get police warning

Police have been talking to students at Abingdon and Witney College to try and prevent motorbike deaths on Oxfordshire's roads.

There have been more than 350 crashes in Oxfordshire in the last five years involving bikers under the age of 20.  Included in the figures were 77 riders who were seriously injured or killed.  Just over 50 were riding motorcycles or mopeds of size 125cc or less.

Oxfordshire County Council's Road Safety Team are working with Thames Valley to hold a series of events, aimed at this age group, to make them aware of the dangers of riding a motorbike.

Police say young bikers are particularly prone to crashes.

PC Stephen Jenkins from Thames Valley Police has been telling Heart: "A lot of it is inexperience really. People getting on their machines not having a lot of training and going out riding too fast for their own ability and for the road conditions."

At the first event in Abingdon on Wednesday 19 May 2010, police talked to students at Abingdon and Witney College about the importance of wearing protective equipment.  They also handed out free reflective jackets and other safety gear.

PC Stephen Jenkins added: "We are not out to prosecute young motorcylists. Operation Pit Stop is all about educating young riders about the dangers they face. We just want them to get proper training and wear decent quality protective equipment so they don't become another statistic."