In an effort to reduce deaths and injuries, the Santa Monica Police Department will be conducting a series of specialized Motorcycle Safety Enforcement Operations on Wednesday, August 19, Wednesday, August 26, and Saturday, August 29. All operations will take place between the hours of 6 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Extra traffic officers will be on duty patrolling areas travelled by motorcyclists and where motorcycle collisions are prevalent. Officers will be looking for violations made by drivers and riders alike that can lead to motorcycle accidents. Their efforts will focus on both; drivers and riders who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, speeding, making illegal turns, and unsafe and/or hazardous behavior.
Motorcycle fatalities saw a sharp drop of 37 percent from years 2008 to 2010, but the trend reversed by 2012 with a 23 percent increase. Operations like this are aimed at curbing and reversing the upswing in motorcycle deaths.
California collision data reveals that primary causes of motorcycle-involved collisions include speeding, unsafe turning and impairment due to alcohol and other drugs by both riders and drivers alike.
Safety tips for riders – See and Be Seen:
_ Ride with lights on during daylight hours
_ Use your lane position to increase visibility; change lanes only when there is ample room
_ Match your speed to surrounding traffic
_ Always wear a DOT compliant helmet and brightly colored, protective clothing
Safety tips for drivers – Share the Road:
_ Look twice for motorcyclists, especially when entering the roadway, turning or changing lanes
_ Motorcyclist are allowed in HOV lanes unless prohibited by signage
Riders are urged to get training through the California Motorcyclist Safety Program. Information and training locations are available at http://www.californiamotorcyclist.com/ or 1-877 -RIDE 411(1-877-743-3411).
Funding for this program is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The message to all drivers and motorcyclists is: share in the responsibility and do your part by safely “sharing the road.”