The Santa Monica Police Department will be conducting a motorcycle safety enforcement operation in the city Sunday, Aug. 29.

Additional officers will be on duty patrolling areas frequented by motorcyclists and where motorcycle collisions occur. Officers will be strictly enforcing traffic violations committed by motorcyclists as well as drivers of automobiles as their actions can lead to motorcycle collisions, injuries and fatalities, police said.

Fatalities as a result of motorcycle collisions have been on the rise in California, increasing 175 percent in the last decade, from 204 killed in 1998 to 560 killed in 2008, police said.

Factors contributing to motorcycle collisions often include speeding and impairment due to alcohol and other drugs, as well as driver inexperience, police note. Riders, young and old, are encouraged to seek training and safety information.

Riders can receive training through the California Motorcyclist Safety Program. Information and training locations are available at (877) RIDE 411, (877) 743-3411, or www.CA-msp.org/.

The Santa Monica Police Department reminds all motorists to be alert and on the lookout for motorcycles, especially when turning or changing lanes.

For more information, Sgt. Jeff Wiles with the Santa Monica Police Department’s Traffic Enforcement Unit at (310) 458-8950, or the department’s public information officer, Sgt. Jay Trisler at (310) 458-8471.

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