The Santa Monica Police Department conducted a specialized Motorcycle Safety Enforcement Operation Sunday, Aug. 11 in an effort to reduce the number of deaths and injuries involving motorcyclists in the area.
During the operation, extra officers patrolled areas frequented by motorcyclists and where accidents commonly occur. The officers looked for violations commonly made by drivers of passenger vehicles and motorcyclists that lead to many motorcycle collisions such as, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, speeding, making illegal turns, and stop sign violations, Lt. Richard Lewis said.
According to police, the number of motorcycle fatalities rose nearly 18 percent in 2011 after a drop of 37 percent from 2008 to 2010. Police say the enforcement operations are aimed at curbing any additional increases in motorcycle-related deaths.
California collision data indicates that the primary causes of motorcycle-involved crashes include speeding, unsafe turning and impairment due to alcohol and other drugs.
The Santa Monica Police Department is also reminding all motorists to always be alert and watch out for motorcycles, especially when turning and changing lanes, Lewis said.
Funding for the operation was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Information, Sgt. Phillbo Rubish of the Santa Monica Police Department Traffic Division at (310) 458-8950, or Lewis at (310) 458-8462.

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