A Santa Monica Police Department squad car leaves the Public Safety Facility on Tuesday. (Daniel Archuleta daniela@www.smdp.com)

By Lt. Saul Rodriguez

The Santa Monica Police Department is continuing its efforts for motorcycle safety awareness. Officers will be conducting a specialized motorcycle safety enforcement operation in an effort to lower deaths and injuries stemming from motorcycle collisions. Officers will be looking for various violations made by drivers and riders that can lead to motorcycle crashes. They will be cracking down on both those operating regular vehicles and motorcycles that are violating traffic safety laws.

A field enforcement operation will take place on Friday, July 29, from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Officers will be on the lookout for violations by drivers and riders that can lead to life altering injuries. California collision data reveals that the primary causes of motorcycle-involved crashes include speeding, unsafe turning and impairment due to alcohol and other drugs by both riders and drivers alike. Special enforcement efforts will be directed to these and other similar dangerous violations.

Motorcycle fatalities jumped dramatically in California by over 28 percent from a decade low of 352 in 2010. The police department identifies locations within our community where motorcycle collisions are prevalent, along with the violations that led to those collisions. In an effort to lower deaths and injuries, officers will be on duty patrolling areas where motorcycle traffic collisions occur.

Motorcycle riders and regular motorist are reminded to share the road and to look twice before changing lanes. Riders are urged to get training through the California Motorcyclist Safety Program. Information and training locations are available at 1-877-RIDE 411 (1-877-743-3411) or http://www.californiamotorcyclist.com.

Funding for this program is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.