Police are urging motorcyclists travelling to and from the North West 200 circuit this year to stay safe on the roads.
Speaking ahead of the top motorcycling event, Superintendent John Magill said: “This is a fantastic event for the North Coast and attracts thousands of visitors every year. The scenic routes in and around this area always prove popular and are a firm favourite for motorcycling enthusiasts.
“While it is easy to get caught up in the excitement of race week, my message to those enthusiasts and supporters is to please leave the racing to the professionals. Sadly we have seen in recent years just how easily people can lose their lives on the roads as a result of excessive speed or dangerous riding. Too many families are still living with the consequences and this is why road safety has got to be everyone’s number one priority.
“With more motorcyclists out and about in the lead up to and during race week, other road users need to be more alert to the presence of bikes on the roads, particularly at junctions. And the riders themselves need to make sure they stick to the rules of the road and give due consideration to others. Our colleagues in Road Policing, alongside local officers, will be out there too making sure that the roads are safe for everyone.
“Finally I hope everyone enjoys race week and best of luck to all the riders taking part. Bike Safe everyone,” he said.
Meanwhile, practice sessions for the International North-West 200 motorcycle races will take place on Tuesday, May 10 and Thursday, May 12 between 9.15am and 3pm.
There will be a further road closure on the Thursday to facilitate racing from 5pm to 9pm. On Saturday, May 14th the circuit roads will close from 9.30am to 7pm.
Motorists attending the practice sessions and race events are urged by police to arrive in good time and to make full use of official car parks and not to park where their vehicle will cause an obstruction to public or private entrances, and in particular, to designated ambulance routes that are signposted, and which must be kept clear at all times.
Drivers are also asked to comply with the directions of police officers on point duty before and after the races.
Motorists should expect delays on all roads leading to and from the circuit and should make appropriate allowances in order to complete their journey safely.
Any subsequent amendment to the race week schedule will be advised to the public via the Vauxhall International North West 200 website www.vauxhallnorthwest200.co.uk, BBC NI TV & Radio and the NW200 Facebook and Twitter feed.