THE summer months are the traditional time of year for those who enjoy two-wheeled adventures to get on their motorbikes and head out onto the country roads.

Sadly, on some occasions, these jaunts can end in tragedy.

On Sunday, a four-bike pile up near Sible Hedingham, a traditional biking route, led to the death of one man and a serious injury sustained by a biker from Basildon.

But Adam Pipe, casualty reduction manager for Essex Police, said KSI stats, which cover those killed or seriously injured in accident, are falling among the traditional biker demographic.

Instead, his officers are seeing younger riders, often on mopeds, riding dangerously.

He said: “Motorcycle casualties remain a massive part of our overall casualty data, it’s about 25 per cent of all of our KSIs.

“It’s a very, very vulnerable group.

“What the data doesn’t show you is it’s not necessarily the old school style, weekend-type activity where the casualties are happening.”

Mr Pipe said police are being “bombarded” with reports of youths and young men riding motorbikes and mopeds in a dangerous fashion around housing estates and on main roads, often without helmets.

This has led to a high visibility crackdown, particularly in Basildon, Southend and Thurrock.

He said: “These are off-road bikes using the highways, motorcycles that are unregistered, made-up number plates, that sort of stuff.

“There is some really poor riding behaviour from a key group of individuals that seem to think they are above and beyond the law. They seem to think they are untouchable.

“Particularly in the Thurrock area there are a number of casualties where these people have hit cars.

“They are not wearing helmets, they have got pillion passengers who are not wearing helmets.

“They are committing high end speed camera offences.”

Mr Pipe said he has seen one motorcycle go through a speed camera at 80mph in a 30mph zone in recent months.

He said: “That group is becoming a vulnerable road user group. They are having collisions and injuring themselves quite nastily in some cases.

“There has been some really inappropriate high speed filtering on the A127 and we are taking action against them.

“We get a lot of positive feedback from members of the pubic in their cars when they see us doing it.”

From a rider’s perspective, Mr Pipe stressed the crackdown is not about victimising those who prefer two wheels to four.

He said: “It’s a case of trying to educate, engage and enforce.

“We recognise that people enjoy using their motorcycles when they’re out and about

“And we want to get across and target those individuals who are riding in a manner that’s causing a danger to themselves and other road users.”


MOTORCYCLISTS are at a disproportionately higher risk of being involved in KSI accidents, where someone is killed or seriously injured.

In Essex, accidents involving two-wheeled vehicles account for just 0.8 per cent of road accidents but 25 per cent of KSIs.

Contrary to the image of a “Sunday rider” riding a powerful bike on country lanes, 69 per cent of motorcycle casualties in Essex occur on roads in built-up areas.

However, motorcycle collisions on country lanes are more likely to be serious, with 59 per cent of motorcyclist deaths occurring on roads in non-built-up areas.

Nationally, 0.8 per cent of casualties on urban roads are fatal, while 4.8 per cent of motorcyclist casualties on rural roads are fatal.

In Essex, 93 per cent of motorcyclist casualties are male while in 2014, 96 per cent of motorcyclist KSI were riders, with four per cent being passengers.

The two highest risk groups are riders aged 16 to 19 years on mopeds and small engine motorcycles, and riders aged 20 to 49 years (particularly those aged 30 to 39 years) on larger machines.

The main change in motorcycle casualties since 2010 has been an increase in serious and fatal injuries to riders aged 20 to 24 and 50 to 59.

Last year, nine motorcyclists died on the county’s roads, with a further 190 seriously injured.

Young riders aged 16-25, usually on low capacity bikes and mopeds are of particular concern, accounting for 37 per cent of deaths and serious injuries over the last 3 years.

Riders aged 46 to 55, usually on larger capacity bikes account for a further 17 per cent of KSIs.