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Police to Conduct Crack Downs During 4th of July Weekend
By Lookout Staff
June 27, 2011 -- Police will crack down on drunk drivers and reckless motorcyclists who can cause collisions, injuries, and fatalities during the upcoming 4th of July weekend.
Police will be conducting a Sobriety/ Driver’s License checkpoint on Friday, contacting drivers to confirm their sobriety and drivers license status, since unlicensed drivers are over-represented in fatal crashes.
This is the fourth checkpoint conducted over the past 12 months and is part of an ongoing campaign to reduce the number of injuries and fatalities in alcohol-involved crashes.
Statewide, overall traffic deaths declined by 23 percent, from 3,995 in 2007 to 3,081 in 2009, reaching the lowest levels in six decades, according to law enforcement authorities.
During the same period, DUI deaths declined by 16 percent, from 1,132 to 950, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System.
Drivers who plan on drinking should have a designated driver or call a taxi. For more information contact Sergeant Jeff Wiles at the Santa Monica Police Department Traffic Division, 310-458-8950, or the Public Information Officer, Sergeant Richard Lewis at 310-458-8462.
On Saturday and Sunday, as part of two specialized Motorcycle Safety Enforcement Operations additional officers will be patrolling areas frequented by motorcyclists and prone to crashes.
Officers will be cracking down on traffic violations made by motorcyclists, as well as by other vehicle drivers that can lead to motorcycle accidents.
"Motorcyclists are much more vulnerable than others sharing the road," said California Office of Traffic Safety Director, Christopher J. Murphy. "Motorcyclists require special skills and abilities to reduce their risk of being involved in a crash."
Motorcycle fatalities had been on the rise in California, increasing by 175 percent in 10 years, from 204 deaths in 1998 to 560 deaths in 2008, police said.
The trend has been reversed, however, with data showing a 30 percent decrease, to 394 motorcyclist deaths in 2009. Despite this "dramatic reduction," police said, California remains one of three states that lead the nation in motorcyclist deaths.
Between 2006 and 2008, 58 percent of motorcyclist fatalities involved drivers under age 25 who were not properly licensed.
"California collision data reveals that the primary causes of motorcycle-involved crashes include speeding, unsafe turning, and impairment due to alcohol and other drugs," according to a statement from police.
Police are reminding motorists to be alert and watch out for motorcycles, especially when turning and changing lanes.
Motorcyclists can get skill level training and safety information through the California Motorcyclist Safety Program. Information and training locations are available at www.CA-msp.org or 1-877.RIDE.411 (1-877-743-3411).
"Motorcyclists require special skills and abilities to reduce their risk of being involved in a crash." Christopher J. Murphy
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