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NW200 – Do It Safely

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Police are urging motorcyclists travelling to and from the North West 200 next week to use all their road craft to stay safe and stay alive on roads across Northern Ireland.

Motorists can expect increased number of traffic patrols on our roads across the North Coast area during race week, with the aim of ensuring the safety of all road users.

Inspector John Millar, Road Policing officer, explains: “In recent years a number of people lost their lives while either travelling to or from this sporting spectacular, or to one of the many events that take place throughout race week. This is something that all bikers need to take note of, and is why road safety has got to be everyone’s number one priority.

“It is very easy to get caught up in all the excitement that the races bring, and it is this excitement, and the anticipation of seeing professional racers do their thing on closed roads that supporters and enthusiasts need to suppress if they want to stay alive when travelling on open roads.

Do not try to emulate any of the riders taking part in the North West 200 as it is simply not feasible or safe to do so.

Don’t think that you can get away with just driving safely on roads around the race circuit.

You must drive safely at all times whether you are en-route to the North coast from Armagh, Ballymena, Belfast, Carrickfergus, Derry, Enniskillen, Limavady, Portaferry, Newry, or indeed anywhere else in Ireland.

“I would also remind motorists that there will be more motorcycles out and about during race week, and that they need to be more alert to the presence of bikes on the roads, and particularly at junctions…THINK BIKE.

“Motorcyclists have a major role to play when it comes to road safety.

Use dipped headlights day and night, and consider sounding your horn to alert others to your presence as necessary.

Ride responsibly and don’t take foolish chances.

You only get one life; make sure it doesn’t come to an untimely end…BIKESAFE and STAY ALIVE,” concluded Inspector Millar.

Ride It Right Comments

Ride It Right the motorcycle safety initiative says all good sound advice for riders and drivers.

However regarding using dipped headlights: All bikes produced by the major manufacturers have since 2002 had their dipped headlight hardwired so that they come on automatically, there is no switch to switch on or to switch off the headlight. So although you may think your headlight is on, remember to physically check that it is.

Also do not rely on other vehicle drivers seeing you because you have your headlight on or you are wearing reflective or bright clothing.

Also don’t think that having your full beam on will make you more visible, you may make it harder for other vehicle drivers to calculate your distance and speed as you approach.

You may even “mask” the rider behind you, especially if you have fitted more powerful bulbs or High Intensity Discharge Xenon headlights (HID-Xenon) that can cause glare and dazzle other road users.

Meanwhile if you get the time book into one of the Bikesafe assessments that are on offer during race week.


Police are encouraging motorcyclists of all ages and abilities to take part in their ‘Bikesafe’ assessed ride-outs during the NW200 race week.

The ride-outs will be held at the start/finish area of the North West 200 motorcycle races situated on the coast road between Portrush and Portstewart from Tuesday 17 until Friday 19 May. Assessment slots can be booked on-line at

Bikesafe paddock opening times will be:

Tuesday 17 May 10.00am to 5.00pm

Wednesday 18 May 9.30am to 6.00pm

Thursday 19 May 3.00pm to 9.00pm

Friday 20 May 9.30am to 9.00pm

There is £10 administration fee, payable on-line, for the Bikesafe ride-outs and they are operated on a first come first served basis. Motorcyclists are provided with a unique opportunity to have their riding and road craft assessed by an advanced police motorcyclist. During the ride-out, the advanced police motorcyclist assesses machine knowledge, hazard awareness, junctions, cornering, overtaking and security. The assessment is not a test, nor is it training, it provides advice and an assessment of a rider’s capabilities, and it is open to all, from the complete novice to the experienced motorcyclist. STAY ALIVE – ‘BIKESAFE’.

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