26 Apr 2007

Motorcycles on Alban Way

A STACC member advised me today that he recently encountered motor cycles being ridden on Alban Way, when he was walking there.
The attitude of one rider was aggresive.
He reported the incident to the Police & commended their very rapid response. An incident number was assigned.

A week later he was nearby when he heard a motorcycle being ridden along Alban Way. He did not report this.

He also drew my attention to an article in the Herts Advertiser of 19/4/07 on page 9 describing incidents where people have actually been threatened, chased and assaulted on Alban Way by riders of illegally ridden motorcycles.

With your help, STACC can involve itself robustly in this matter, to ensure that these incidents are sorted out correctly.

The HA article quotes Police Inspector Mike Hanson describing reported incidents & stating "We have run operations to target nuisance motorcyclists .... many times and have seized and destroyed a number of bikes." (Why not "many"?)
Clearly police action has been ineffective, perhaps due to offenders only being warned the first time & seizure taking place only on being caught a second time (and not giving another name).
We support strong police action against the offenders, especially as the offences have escalated to physical crimes against the person.
We need to be reassured that the police have not forgotten to use traffic law too - insurance, road tax, driving off the highway, MOT, helmet wearing, licences, etc. Confiscation on first offence would seem to be a good start.

There is a risk that the SADC & local residents' knee-jerk reaction would, once again, be to have more barriers erected, so obstructing the legitimate users of the Alban Way. The barriers would remain long after the problem goes away.

We should robustly resist barriers. This time we are able to cite the clause in the new St Albans Cycling Strategy which requires cycling facilities to be accessible to all types of cycle and riders of all abilities.

Meanwhile we should encourage more youngsters to enjoy using cycles, which might influence them not to be attracted into illegal use of motorcycles.

If you see a motor vehicle on Alban Way (or any public place off-road) report it to the police on 0845 3300 222 and obtain an incident number.

Then please add a comment, including incident date, to this Post (anonymously if you wish) so that STACC can pursue the matter. General topic-related comments also invited.

There's certainly no intention to criticise legitimate responsible motorcycle riders, as we recognise that they also get a bad name because of illegal users.

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