Police Scotland have reinforced the importance of driving responsibly following a spate of serious collisions that occurred on roads in the North-east last week.
Over the course of six days, from Monday, May 13, to Sunday, May 18, there were a total of 12 collisions involving motorcyclists, with the majority of these occurring in Aberdeenshire.
Tragically, this resulted in one motorcyclist being killed; six being seriously injured and left four with minor injuries.
The circumstances of each collision differ, however, rider error or driver error - or a combination of both - were contributory factors in each incident.
Sergeant Neil Morrison, of the Aberdeenshire and Moray Roads Policing Department, said: “With the onset of better weather, the number of motorcyclists taking to the road will undoubtedly increase and it is imperative that those returning to the road following the winter months take time to reacquaint themselves with the handling capabilities of their machine, as well as being honest with themselves in respect of their own riding abilities.
“The importance other road users play in reducing casualties in this class cannot be over emphasised. Drivers need to be mindful of the increased number of motorcycles on the roads and take extra care, checking and re-checking for motorcyclists when emerging from junctions or carrying out any manoeuvres, particularly overtakes.”
This comes following the launch of road safety campaign Operation Cedar in Aberdeenshire and Moray, which highlighted the need for all road users to take more care on the roads in order to avoid injury, death and heartache.
It was revealed at the time that a high number of collisions were caused by speed and driver error, but health or illness and other issues also had a part to play.
Sergeant Morrison added: “In no way are we looking to spoil the enjoyment and freedom achieved through motorcycling but merely wish to reinforce the safety message of riding responsibly and within your individual capabilities. I am not in any way looking to demonise the motorcycle community, as the vast majority ride responsibly and without incident.
“Police Scotland’s overarching focus is ‘Keeping People Safe’, and to achieve this I cannot stress enough the influence other motorists have in reducing the number of riders killed and seriously injured on our roads. Being aware of motorcyclists and taking that bit longer when clearing junctions or overtaking can only have a positive outcome for all concerned. Put simply - ‘Think Bike, Think Biker’.”