The Murrieta Police Department on Friday will begin a monthlong specialized motorcycle safety enforcement operation—targeting motorcyclists and drivers of motor vehicles alike.
Between Aug. 16 and Sept. 20, extra officers will be on duty patrolling areas frequented by motorcyclists in an effort to lower deaths and injuries, Murrieta police Sgt. Jim Gruwell stated in a news release.
“Over the course of the past three years, there have been 47 serious injury motorcycle collisions within Murrieta’s city limits,” Gruwell said. “In approximately 10 percent of these collisions, the rider was arrested for DUI.”
The number of motorcycle fatalities in California—where lane splitting is legal if done safely—rose 18 percent in 2011 following a 37-percent drop between 2008 and 2010, statistics show.
This Murrieta operation is intended to help bring those numbers back down, but will not focus solely on motorcycles.
“Officers will be looking for violations made by drivers and riders alike that can lead to motorcycle crashes,” Gruwell said. “They will be cracking down on both those operating regular vehicles and motorcycles who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, speeding, making illegal turns, or any other dangerous violation.”
Gruwell referred to California collision data that reveals the primary causes of motorcycle-involved crashes include speeding, unsafe turning and impairment due to alcohol and other drugs.
“The Murrieta Police Department is also reminding all motorists to always be alert and watch out for motorcycles, especially when turning and changing lanes,” Gruwell said.
It is predicted that as the economy improves, there will likely be more miles driven by all vehicles, plus more novice motorcycle riders who are untrained and unable to handle the power of today’s motorcycles.
The message sent to all drivers and motorcyclists is: share in the responsibility and do your part by safely “sharing the road.”
Riders were encouraged to take part in training offered through the California Motorcyclist Safety Program. Information for that program is available at CA-msp.org or by calling 1-877 RIDE 411 or 1-877-743-3411.