>> 31 March 2011

Huntly, Strathbogie & Howe of Alford SNP councillor and keen motorcyclist Joanna Strathdee has welcomed the launch by Grampian Police of Operation Zenith 2011 after the initiative helped slash the number of motorcyclists killed or seriously injured by 22% in its first year.

The scheme – the first of its kind in Scotland – will return from April 3, when officers will take part in the Motorcycle Action Group's (MAG) annual Egg Run, where motorcyclists from MAG deliver Easter Eggs to sick children at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.

The multi-agency initiative will see Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire and Moray Councils, the association of motorcycle dealers for the North East of Scotland, BEAR (Scotland), the North East Camera Safety Partnership and Aberdeenshire Community Safety Partnership working in partnership.

Commenting, Councillor Strathdee said:

"I very much welcome the partnership approach by MAG, the Councils, Grampian Police and others on this issue. I attended the event in the grounds of Woodhill House last year and was very pleased to see the large turnout of motorcyclists participating. I am a member of MAG myself and have taken part in their awareness raising events in the past.

“Anything which highlights the dangers to bikers and raise awareness of the vulnerability of bikers to other road users especially at junctions is to be commended. I have always felt that winter grit left on the roads during the summer is a serious risk to bikers even at slow speeds because it accumulates on bends where you cant see it until its too late.

“The reduction in accidents in the Grampian area in the last year is very much to be welcomed."

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