SANTA MONICA—The Santa Monica Police Department will be conducting a Motorcycle Safety Enforcement Operation on August 12 and August 15, according to a press release from the SMPD. The operation will take place to help lower the amount of deaths and injuries due to motorcycle collisions.

Officers will be conducting field operations on Friday, August 12 from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Monday, August 15 from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. During these operations, the officers will be looking for violations by both vehicle motorists and motorcycle riders that can lead to motorcycle collisions. The SMPD will be cracking down on motorists and riders who are violating traffic safety laws.

“There were 12 citations written during our last Motorcycle Safety Enforcement Operation,” Lieutenant Saul Rodriguez of the SMPD told Canyon News in an email. “Of these citations, 5 were written to motorcyclist and 7 were written to vehicle motorist.”

Motorcycle fatalities have increased in California by more than 28 percent after a decade low of 352 fatalities in 2010. California collision data has shown that the primary causes for motorcycle-involved collisions are speeding, unsafe turning, and impairment due to alcohol or other drugs by both motorists and riders.

The SMPD has identified locations within the Santa Monica community where motorcycle collisions are prevalent. Officers will be on duty and patrolling these areas during the operations. The SMPD wants to remind motorists and riders to share the road and look twice before changing lanes.

“The Santa Monica Police Department would like to share the message created by the California Office of Traffic Safety by stating that creating a safer highway environment is the shared responsibility of drivers and motorcyclists alike,” Rodriguez told Canyon News. “This is achieved by staying alert and using common sense and courtesy while on the road. It is also important for motorcyclists to minimize their risks by riding responsibly, always wearing a helmet and other protective gear and to never ride under the influence of alcohol or other intoxicants. Here are other important safety reminders:

·         Watch your speed—a motorcycle collision is highly likely to cause injury or death

·         Assume people in cars do not see you.

·         Avoid blind spots in other vehicles, particularly large trucks”

Training for motorcycle riders is available through the California Motorcyclist Safety Program which can be reached at 1-877-RIDE-411 (1-877-743-3411). More information is also available at their website at Funding for the Motorcycle Safety Enforcement Operation is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The SMPD conducts around eight to ten Motorcycle Safety Operations a year, Rodriguez told Canyon News.