The dangers of motorcycling on the Mountain Road are being flagged up in a safety campaign launched on the eve of the Easter holiday weekend.
The campaign runs from today (Thursday) through to TT practice week, a period which sees increased traffic and accidents on the Mountain Road. The publicity images show a rider heading from Douglas to Ramsey and Ramsey to Douglas to remind all road users that the Mountain Road is two-way except during the TT festival.
The politician responsible for road safety at the Department of Infrastructure, Leonard Singer MHK, explained that traditionally late Easter weekends are the time when local motorcyclists, who have had their bikes in storage during the winter, get them out and take for them for their first ride of the year.
Mr Singer said: ‘Many riders include the Mountain Road in their first ride, so if it is your first outing, please spend a little time checking your machine, especially tyre pressures and the condition of the tyres, check that fluid levels are all topped up and that the chain is lubricated and properly adjusted.
‘Finally practise a couple of stops to ensure your brakes are fully efficient. Whether you are riding or driving, just take that extra moment to look for bikes before making a manoeuvre.’
All those involved in the campaign want the motorcycling community to enjoy the island’s roads while riding safely and responsibly.
Police sergeant Allan Thompson of the roads policing unit said: ‘Operation Mountain Safe is an opportunity for the emergency services to engage with riders and set the tone for The TT Festival, which is just over the horizon. We want people to enjoy the thrill of riding the Mountain Road, but just to be aware of the history of this piece of tarmac and the dangers which it holds.
‘I’d like to stress to riders that parts of the Mountain Road have changed over the winter, and there may indeed be workers in the road preparing for TT, as well motorists going about their normal business. As much as we want riders to enjoy the unique experience that the de-restricted road presents, we will take positive action against those whose riding is deemed dangerous or inconsiderate.’
Sergeant Thompson added that throughout the campaign the police will have an increased presence around the TT Course and particularly on the mountain section.
Chris Roughley of Isle of Man Advanced Motorcyclists said: ‘Always ride within your comfort zone, never be drawn into going faster than your ability allows, you could lose more than just you licence.’
The fire and service is also supporting the campaign with its ‘fire bike’ which will be touring the island, and the ambulance service will be encouraging riders to get a crash card and keep it up to date to help medics in the unfortunate event of an accident.
Campaign publicity will be placed at key locations, additionally the campaign posters can be downloaded from here.
The road safety promotions vehicle with members of the ‘Mountain Safe Partnership’ will be in attendance, subject to weather, at the Great Ramsey Bike Show on Monday, May 5.
‘Operation Mountain Safe’ is a joint initiative between the Department of Infrastructure’s Road Safety Team, the police, the fire service, the ambulance service and the Institute of Advanced Motorists.