Extra Santa Monica Police Department officers will be on duty patrolling areas frequented by motorcyclists and where accidents commonly occur on Sunday as part of a specialized Motorcycle Safety Enforcement Operation.
SMPD Lt. Richard Lewis said officers will be looking for violations commonly made by drivers of passenger vehicles and motorcyclists, such as driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, speeding, making illegal turns, stop sign violations or any other dangerous violation, which lead to many motorcycle collisions.
“Motorcycle fatalities saw a phenomenal drop of 37 percent from 2008 to 2010, but rose nearly 18 percent in 2011,” Lt. Lewis said. “Operations like this are aimed at curbing any more rises in motorcycle deaths and sending the numbers back downward.”
Lewis said California collision data revealed that primary causes of motorcycle-involved crashes included speeding, unsafe turning, and impairment due to alcohol and other drugs.
“The Santa Monica Police Department is also reminding all motorists to always be alert and watch out for motorcycles, especially when turning and changing lanes,” he said. “As the economy turns upward, there will likely be more miles driven by all vehicles, plus more novice motorcycle riders who are untrained and unable to handle the power of today’s motorcycles. The message to all drivers and motorcyclists is: share in the responsibility and do your part by safely ‘sharing the road.’”
Funding for Sunday’s operation is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The SMPD encourages riders to get training through the California Motorcyclist Safety Program.
For more information and training locations, visit www.CA-msp.org or call 1.877.743.3411.