SANTA MONICA—May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month and the Santa Monica Police Department will be conducting specialized Motorcycle Safety Enforcement Operations in the hopes of preventing deaths and injuries from motorcycle related collisions, according to a press release from the SMPD. The field enforcement operations will be conducted on May 15, May 22 and May 29 from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Motorcycle fatalities have increased 28 percent in the state of California from a decade low of 352 fatalities in 2010. In 2015, the SMPD investigated 37 motorcycle involved collisions, 23 of which resulted in injury.
The SMPD has identified locations where motorcycle collisions are prevalent and what violations led to these collisions. These locations are where officers will be looking for violations of traffic safety laws from both motorcycle drivers and regular motorists that could lead to a traffic collision.
The goals of these operations are to curb the rise in motorcycle involved injuries and fatalities, and to send the number of injuries and fatalities back downward. California collision data revealed that the top causes of these types of collisions are speeding, unsafe turning and impairment due to alcohol or other drugs.
Motorcycle riders and regular motorists are advised to share the road and look twice before changing lanes. The city of Santa Monica Facebook page also offered some safety tips for motorcycle drivers including: riding with lights on during daylight hours, changing lanes only when there is ample room, matching speed to surrounding traffic, and always wearing a DOT compliant helmet and brightly colored, protective clothing.
Funding for the program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Motorcycle riders can get training through the California Motorcyclist Safety Program. For more information and training locations call 1-877-RIDE 411 (1-877-743-3411) or visit www.californiamotorcyclist.com.