The Santa Monica Police Department will conduct a specialized Motorcycle Safety Enforcement Operation on Saturday, March 29 in an effort to lower deaths and injuries.
Extra SMPD officers will be on duty patrolling areas frequented by motorcyclists and where motorcycle crashes occur.
Funding for this program is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Officers will be looking for violations made by drivers and riders alike that can lead to motorcycle crashes.
Enforcement efforts will focus on those who operate cars and trucks, as well as motorcyclists who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, speeding, making illegal turns, or any other dangerous violations.
Motorcycle fatalities saw a phenomenal drop of 37 percent from 2008 to 2010, but then rose 23 percent by 2012. Operations like this are aimed at curbing any more rises in motorcycle deaths.
California collision data reveals that primary causes of motorcycle-involved crashes include speeding, unsafe turning, and impairment due to alcohol and other drugs.
The SMPD is also reminding all motorists to always be alert and watch out for motorcycles, especially when turning and changing lanes.
Drivers should be aware that motorcycle lane splitting is legal if done in a safe and prudent manner.
Motorcycle riders should consult the Lane Splitting General Guidelines to learn more at www.ots.ca.gov/lanesplittinggeneralguidelines.pdf.
SMPD Sgt. Jay Moroso said as the economy improves, there will likely be more miles driven by all motorists, including motorcyclists.
“This will include novice motorcycle riders who are untrained and unable to adequately handle the power of today’s motorcycles,” Moroso said. “The message to all drivers and motorcyclists is: share in the responsibility and do your part by safely ‘sharing the road.'”
Riders can get training through the California Motorcyclist Safety Program. Information and training locations are available at www.CA-msp.org or 1-877 RIDE 411 or 1-877-743-3411.