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The 5th annual police motorcyclists' skills competition, featuring BMW R1150RT and Honda Deauville NT700V motorcycles, took place on 26 September 2008 in the sports park of the Police Academy in Tacen.

Visitors had the chance to watch police officers from all over the country put their skills to the test. The officers taking part bore the brunt of the regulation of traffic on Slovenia's roads during the summer season and during Slovenia's Presidency of the European Union.

avg26 IMG 0111In the words of Robert Sušanj, the head of the Traffic Police Section of the Uniformed Police Directorate at the General Police Directorate, "traffic officers regulated traffic during Slovenia's Presidency of the European Union in conditions that were sometimes extremely difficult, but their work often went unobserved and was perhaps not sufficiently appreciated. As a motorcyclist myself, I should emphasise that even riding a motorcycle is hard enough in itself. But police motorcyclists also have to monitor and regulate traffic and take action in the case of violations, all of which demands considerable skill."

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The purpose of the annual trials organised by the Police Academy in conjunction with the Traffic Police Section of the Uniformed Police Directorate at the General Police Directorate is to put police motorcyclists' riding skills to the test. "These events grew out of the desire for a social occasion and a testing of skills in a relaxed atmosphere, but have since grown into a real competition," added Sušanj. "The result is influenced not only by the skills shown but also by the time the riders take to complete the exercise. The purpose of the competition is to test their skills and to bring Slovenia's motorcycle traffic officers together for an enjoyable social occasion. This is not the only get-together for traffic policemen, since they already have an established system of competitions in skiing, football and many other sports."

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Sixty police motorcyclists from the police stations of all eleven police directorates and the Security and Protection Office took part in the annual trial. International guests, motorcycle paramedics, military police officers and others who use motorcycles in their work also had the chance to demonstrate their skills. "Events like this are a social occasion and also a competition to see who is the fastest, the most skilful, the fittest," explained Brane Leban, a safe driving instructor at the Police Academy. "At the same time these are all characteristics that a police motorcyclist needs to ride safely and to do his job well. The obstacles on the course are designed to simulate the everyday obstacles police motorcyclists can encounter in their work, in both urban and non-urban situations and on motorways."

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Andrej Ošlak, vice-president of the organising committee: "We began training police motorcyclists in 1998. After all these years I can see that we have achieved a great deal in this time, since there have been no serious accidents, falls or material damage, while at the same time we have improved the vehicle fleet. We have also persuaded a good number of young police officers to volunteer for motorcycle duties. Our ranks include several women, who have proved themselves more than capable of this work."

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The police officers put their skills to the test in team and individual competitions in two categories, with BMW R1150RT and Honda Deauville NT700V motorcycles. In each category the team consisted of three police motorcyclists and one team leader for both teams.

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The police motorcyclists had to complete nine different exercises on a specially prepared course: start, slalom, riding between bars, ducking under an obstacle, sharp bends, narrows, figure of eight, carrying a ball down a corridor, and finish. They had to demonstrate their aptitude for traffic safety and police escort duties and their ability to ride police motorcycles safely and reliably. At the same time the correct use of the motorcycle and prescribed protective equipment was checked. Naturally the officers also had to demonstrate a good level of fitness.

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The closing of the event this year was marked by the 15th anniversary of police motorcycle trials. To mark the occasion we opened an exhibition of photographs of all the trials to date, from 1994 to 2007.

On Saturday 27 September 2008 the participants in the trial (including guests) will set off on a promotional tour from Ljubljana (Tacen), via Vrhnika, Postojna, Se┼żana and Lipica, to Koper, Lucija and Piran and back to Ljubljana.


Results:

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Team classification - BMW

1. Ljubljana PD
2. Office for Security and Protection
3. Kranj PD
4. Celje PD
5. Novo Mesto PD
6. Postojna PD
7. Maribor PD
9. Slovenj Gradec PD
10. Krško PD
11. Nova Gorica PD
12. Koper PD


Team classification - Honda

1. Ljubljana PD
2. Koper PD
3. Nova Gorica PD
4. Maribor PD
5. Celje PD
6. Murska Sobota PD
7. Krško PD
8. Slovenj Gradec PD
9. Kranj PD


Individual classification - BMW

1. Zoran Vidas, Ljubljana PD
2. Aleš Štraus, Ljubljana PD
3. Simon Kastelic, Koper PD
4. Tine Prevec, Ljubljana PD
5. Toma┼ż Kapus, Kranj PD


Individual classification - Honda

1. Jurij Fortuna, Ljubljana PD
2. Mitja Beltram, Nova Gorica PD
3. Sandi Sheikha, Ljubljana PD
4. Gašper Kelbl, Ljubljana PD
5. Aleksander Leban, Nova Gorica PD

Safety for motorcyclists

Traffic safety