Operation Silverstone: highway patrol cars new weapons in patrolling motorcyclist haunts such as Putty and Wollombi roads

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Lives on the Line: Police aim to turn the corner on bike deaths Operation Silverstone press conference at Rutherford. Picture: Jonathan Carroll
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Operation Silverstone press conference at Rutherford. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Operation Silverstone press conference at Rutherford. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Operation Silverstone press conference at Rutherford. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Operation Silverstone press conference at Rutherford. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Operation Silverstone press conference at Rutherford. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

TweetFacebookTHEY are the remote, out-of-the-way roadsthat attract motorcyclists with an almost endless run ofsnake-like turns and tight corners.

But the same characteristics that suck in riders along the Hunter’s favourite thoroughfares are also killing them.

Police will announce on Tuesday a four-month operation across the Central Hunter, Hunter Valley and Lake Macquarie commands targeting riderson their favourite haunts, including Putty and Wollombi roads.

Their weapons will include police helicopters and unmarked cars, allowing them to monitor riders along the remote and tight roads where accidents have occurred.

The Polair helicopters will be used to watch rider behaviour before passing on the information to ground crews in marked, unmarked, and “covert” highway patrol vehicles.

Operation Silverstone will begin on Tuesday and continue to March 1, taking in the summer months where large numbers of motorcyclists hit the roads.

There have already been nine motorcyclists die on Hunter roads this year, including six riders in the 11 weeks since August 12.

Two riders were killed in separate accidents on Putty Road in August last year, just weeks before senior highway patrol officers launched asafety campaign.

Regional highway patrol commander, Superintendent Bob Ryan, said Operation Silverstone was an initiative aimed at “keeping riders and drivers safe and alive on our roads during the peak motorcycle riding season”.

SAFETY: Putty Road (above) is among the most popular rides with motorcyclists and will be targeted in a new police campaign. Picture: Dean Osland.

“We are particularly concerned about the safety of motorcyclists in the Hunter and Lake Macquarie regions, who are over represented in crash statistics this time of year,’’ Superintendent Ryan said.

“All riders should ride to live.

“During the operation, highway patrol police will be patrolling and enforcing the law particularly on motorcycle routes, including the Putty Road and Wollombi Road, to promote the safety of motorcyclists and drivers.

“These officers will also be speaking to riders at popular rest areas and encouraging them to take responsibility and obey the rules in place for their protection.

“The unmarked and covert vehicles we are using will include a variety of vehicles, not normally associated with highway patrol.

“These unmarked and covert vehicles, as well as PolAir, will be used for traffic enforcement on most major roads, with the purpose of reminding motorists that any vehicle could be a police vehicle.

“This operation aims to ensure that motorcyclists ride to the conditions, anticipate the actions of others and obey the road rules.”