Although a weekend crackdown on motorcycle safety revealed that bikers are obeying the law and that other motorists are giving them space and respect, deputies found speeding to be the overwhelming problem among non-motorcyclists.
Of 27 motorists stopped in a 12-hour period from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, 25 of them were issued citations. None of those stopped or cited were motorcyclists.
At least 21 of the 25 citations were for speeding, including one citation for a motorist allegedly clocked driving at 80 miles an hour on Soledad Canyon Road.
Two citations were issued for alleged illegal cellphone use, and a citation each for tailgating and running a red light. Deputies also issued two warnings for cellphone usage.
The driver accused of running a red light was allegedly found to have a suspended driver’s license.
“For the most part, motorcyclists were driving appropriately,” Sgt. William Lynch of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station said. “Motorists driving near them (motorcyclists) were giving them an appropriate amount of space and showing courtesy.”
The motorcycle safety enforcement operation was carried by two deputies at different locations in the SCV throughout the day.
The operation was aimed at reducing the number of deaths and injuries on SCV roadways.
The deputies carrying out the operation were expected to crack down on those who were violating traffic safety laws while operating regular vehicles or motorcycles.
Motorcycle fatalities jumped dramatically in California by over 28 percent from a decade low of 352 in 2010, according to a social media post from the SCV Sheriff’s Station.
In 2013, 453 motorcyclists lost their lives, which is at a five-year high.
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.
“Operations like this are aimed at curbing any more rises in motorcycle deaths and sending the numbers back downward,” wrote Shirley Miller, the SCV Sheriff’s Station spokeswoman, in a social media post.
Over the course of the past three years, motorcycle-involved collisions have resulted in 1,332 fatalities and injuries throughout the county, according to the post.
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
- Motorcyclists 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 https://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.”