Crackdown on motorcycle safety begins today

LASD Motorcycle deputy prepares for safety enforcement operation. Photo courtesy SCV Sheriff's Station.

Beginning today, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department will be conducting a specialized Motorcycle Safety Enforcement Operation in the c ity of Santa Clarita in an effort to lower deaths and injuries.

Extra deputies are expected to be on duty Friday patrolling areas frequented by motorcyclists and where motorcycle crashes occur.

They’ll be looking for violations made by drivers and riders alike that can lead to motorcycle crashes, according to a news release issued by the LASD.

Deputies will also be  cracking down on both those operating regular vehicles and motorcycles who are violating traffic safety laws.

The special enforcement operation was sparked by statistics LASD officers shared in their news release.

Motorcycle fatalities jumped dramatically in California by over 28 percent from a decade low of 352 in 2010, they said.

In 2013, 453 motorcyclists lost their lives, which is at a 5 year high. California collision data reveals that primary causes of motorcycle-involved crashes include speeding, unsafe turning and impairment due to alcohol and other drugs by both riders and drivers alike.

Operations like the one launched today are aimed at curbing any more rises in motorcycle deaths and sending the numbers back downward. Over the course of the past 3 years, motorcycle involved collisions have resulted in 1,332 fatal and injury crashes throughout the county, according to the news release.

Safety tips for riders – See and Be Seen:

  • 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
  • Ride with lights on during daylight hours
  • 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.”

jholt@signalscv.com

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