Birmingham’s police trial all-electric motorbike
Due to Birmingham’s plan to introduce a Clean Air Zone (CAZ) in January 2020, West Midlands Police has trialled a battery-electric motorbike for its latest road-safety operations.
An unmarked Zero SR/F electric motorbike, ridden by a plain clothed officer, stopped and prosecuted or warned 84 drivers over two-weeks.
PC Paul Ennis (pictured), from the West Midlands Police’s Road Harm Prevention Team, rode the Zero during the trial.
He says: “I took the bike out every day, and did quite a few miles on it in wet and dry weather. 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.”
Footage from a body mounted camera captured car drivers putting motorcyclists in danger. One motorcyclist was also found to be riding recklessly during the trail, which saw marked motorcycles intercept offenders identified by the Zero mounted officer.
He added: “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.
“This ensures a constant, credible threat of prosecution from not only our unmarked motorcyclist but also any motorcyclist.
“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.”