Some of you will know me from years gone by but for those of you who don’t, my name is Steven LAPSLEY and I am the Sergeant in charge of the Roads Policing Unit on the Isle of Man. I have 21 years police service served between Central Scotland Police and the Isle of Man Constabulary.
Last year was my first leading the Roads Policing Unit through TT and while I made a few minor changes to the Policing Plan I generally observed how the event ran to help inform Policing for the 2017 event. It is my job to make sure that our roads are policed effectively through road safety, education, proactive policing and enforcement.
We want you to enjoy our Island including while on the road however my main objective is to keep the Islands roads as safe as they can, minimise unforeseen road closures and the disruption to the public.
The Island has hundreds of miles of road and large sections where there are no restrictions on speed limits. There is however no excuse for being caught speeding in the Isle of Man with clearly defined areas where speed limits apply. Please don’t abuse our roads, ride safe and to the conditions. Dangerous riding in restricted or unrestricted areas is also a factor and speed is often the main contributor towards dangerous riding, often with deadly consequences. Speeding will not be tolerated and as well as uniform mobile patrols we will be utilising a number of unmarked bikes and cars to robustly enforce speeding and dangerous riding or driving. Remember, a disqualification in issued through the Isle of Man Courts will mean a disqualification in the UK so be careful or your livelihood could also be in jeopardy.
Last year we released footage on our Facebook page (Isle of Man Constabulary Roads Policing Unit) of our unmarked Police bikes that had been recorded over the last 10 years or so. This year we have unmarked bikes and cars operating every day of the festival. ANYONE caught driving or riding without due care or attention or dangerously, will be prosecuted.
Unmarked bikes and vehicles are our most effective way of enforcement and preventing individuals injuring themselves or others by riding beyond their ability. These are public roads when not closed for racing and when open to the public do not form part of a ‘race track’. Please don’t treat them as such when travelling around the Island.
The Mountain Course is an iconic section of the TT race but can be extremely problematic to Police with a minority of riders and drivers exceeding their ability and travelling at speeds well in excess of what would be considered as ‘safe’. The consequences on occasions can be tragic and I would urge anyone using this section of road to travel with the uppermost caution. Accidents of any nature cause disruption to deal with especially on the Mountain Section with closures necessary to deal with any incidents safely. Please remember that any frustration you feel when you find the Mountain is closed due to an RTC is caused by the public and not the Police (we do NOT shut the Mountain for no reason). Do NOT ride beyond your ability and be very careful when negotiating various sections of road.
Over the years I have seen some horrific injuries where riders have been involved in a collision whilst wearing jeans/shorts and T-shirts on their bike instead of motorcycle safety clothing. Whilst I understand that you may be riding a short distance into town, parking your bike up then enjoying some evening entertainment I would urge you all to consider the clothing that you wear at all times. There are so many motorcycles on the roads during the two weeks that anything could happen so please think before you make that short journey into town.
This is not tolerated in any shape or form. We have a considerable amount of Officers patrolling all areas of the Island 24 hours a day. If you are stopped and found to be over the limit you will be disqualified both in the Isle of Man and the UK. On some occasions I have seen custodial sentences being handed down depending on the severity of the incident. DO NOT extend your stay with us care of the Isle of Man Prison.
The overall message is a simple one...
Come to the Isle of Man, enjoy yourselves, ride safe and within your capabilities. Watch out for others on the road, don’t speed, don’t drink and ride, wear suitable clothing and most importantly return home safe and sound to your loved ones who will be waiting for you.
Roads Policing Unit