POLICE in the West Midlands have deployed Zero’s new SR/F in a bid to bolster motorcycle safety as part of their driver education programme.
The electric machine was ridden in aid of the force’s Road Harm Prevention Team and its drive to reduce the number of collisions involving motorcyclists.
An unmarked SR/F was ridden by a plainly-clothed officer over a two-week period. Footage from his body cam captured a large number of drivers putting bikes in harm’s way, with 84 drivers stopped and either prosecuted or warned about their driving. One motorcyclist was also found to be riding recklessly after marked motorcycles intercepted offenders identified by the Zero-mounted officer.
With Birmingham City planning to introduce a clean air zone in January 2020, the team at the West Midlands Police felt that a fully electric machine was most appropriate for the operation.
“I took the bike out every day, and did quite a few miles on it in wet and dry weather,” said PC Paul Ennis (pictured) of the West Midlands Police’s Road Harm Prevention Team.
“Overall I was really impressed with the machine and range was never an issue, we simply charged it up every night and rode it during the day.
“I myself ride into work every day and found myself in situations where drivers had pulled out in front of me. The operation involved riding around the most vulnerable locations for motorcyclists, where the majority of collisions occur, and when endangered by a driver or witnessing a driver committing an offence which could potentially endanger a motorcyclist we would call in a marked motorcyclist to intercept and deal with the offence.
“The operation was widely publicised, in order that drivers who don’t actively look out for bikes would start to do so, especially when they also learn that West Midlands Police actively encourages motorcyclists who ride with cameras to send us their footage via our digital reporting portal so we can use it to prosecute also.
“Once drivers are aware of the operation, they remain on the lookout for those on two wheels. They start looking previously where they didn’t and the resulting behaviour change creates a safer environment.”
The SR/F is now reported to be at the top of a number of police forces’ lists as an alternative to their petrol vehicles.