Los Angeles: The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) will be conducting a specialized Motorcycle Safety Enforcement Operation to combat reckless driving.
On Saturday, October 10, 2009, extra officers will be patrolling areas frequented by motorcyclists where crashes often occur. Officers will be cracking down on traffic violations made by motorcyclists and other vehicle drivers that lead to injury and fatal motorcycle traffic collisions.
Motorcycle fatalities have been on the rise in California, increasing 91 percent from 275 killed in 2000 to 533 killed in 2008. Fatal motorcycle traffic collisions in Los Angeles County have increased 62 percent from 70 in 2004, to 114 in 2008. In the same period, injury motorcycle collisions have increased 47 percent from 1,996 to 2,927. From 2003 to 2008, motorcycle fatalities in the 21- to-24-year-old age group have increased 122 percent and 102 percent in the 55-and-over age group.
Factors contributing to motorcycle crashes include speeding and impairment due to alcohol and/or other drugs by motorcyclists and other drivers. Another major factor leading to fatal and injurious motorcycle collisions are inexperience. Riders, young and old, are encouraged to seek training and safety information.
Many people are riding motorcycles without the proper motorcycle license and without the skills necessary to ride safely. Thirty-six percent of the motorcyclists killed in California are not properly licensed. Improper licensing is a greater problem among younger riders, where 63% of the 16- to-24-year-old operators killed were not properly licensed. It is every motorcyclist’s responsibility to be properly licensed and have the skills necessary to ride safely. Riders without the proper motorcycle license may be subject to impound for up to 30 days.
The LAPD is reminding all motorists to always be alert and watch out for motorcycles, especially when turning and changing lanes.
For further information, please contact LAPD Traffic Coordination Section, Officer Don Inman at 213-847-1624. Riders can receive training through the California Motorcyclist Safety Program, and information is available at www.CA-msp.org or 1-877 RIDE 411 or 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.