CITYWIDE — Extra officers will be present Sunday in areas where motorcycle accidents are frequent as a part of the Santa Monica Police Department’s efforts to lower deaths and injuries, authorities said.

Officers will pay close attention to moving violations made by motorcyclists.

Although motorcycle fatalities in California have dropped by 37 percent between 2009 and 2010, they have been on the rise over the past 10 years by as much as 175 percent. California collision data shows that the major causes of motorcycle accidents are speeding, reckless turning and impairment due to alcohol and other drugs, according to police.

In addition, many motorcycle operators are not properly licensed. In 2008, 62.7 percent of motorcyclists under the age of 25 were not properly licensed. Riders can attain training through the California Motorcyclist Safety Program. Information is available at www.CA-msp.org or 1-877-RIDE or 1-877- 743-3411.

“The terrible trend of rising motorcyclist fatalities has been reversed, though there is more that everyone can do to save more lives,” said California Office of Traffic Safety Director Christopher J. Murphy. “Riders and drivers need to respect each other and share the road.”

news@smdp.com

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