If you plan on taking your hog out for a ride up the coast this Sunday, you better make sure you know all the rules of the road.

That’s because Santa Monica police will conduct a “Motorcycle Safety Enforcement Operation” this weekend in areas that are either regularly used by motorcyclists or where there have been previous motorcycle crashes, said Santa Monica police spokesman Sgt. Jay Trisler.

Officers, he said, will be strictly enforcing traffic violations committed by motorcyclists as well as drivers of autos, as their actions could lead to motorcycle collisions, fatalities or injuries.

Motorcycle fatalities, Trisler said, have been on the rise in California, increasing 175 percent in the past decade from 204 killed in 1998 to 560 killed in 2008.

Factors contributing to motorcycle collisions include speeding, alcohol and drug use and driver inexperience. Many people are riding bikes without the proper skills and training, Trisler said.

Riders can get safety training through the California Motorcycle Safety Program. Information and training locations are available at www.ca-msp.org or (877) 743-3411.

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