Santa Monica Police to Target Unsafe Motorcyclists, Drivers This Weekend
Harding, Larmore Kutcher & Kozal, LLP
By Lookout Staff
September 13, 2013 -- Santa Monica Police will be out in force Saturday on the lookout for motorcyclists with dangerous riding habits and inattentive drivers who could cause accidents.
“Extra officers will be on duty patrolling areas frequented by motorcyclists and where accidents commonly occur,” said Lieutenant Richard Lewis, a spokesperson for the Santa Monica Police Department.
“Officers will be looking for violations commonly made by drivers of passenger vehicles and motorcyclist, which lead to many motorcycle collisions such as, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, speeding, making illegal turns, stop sign violations or any other dangerous violation,” he said.
The special operation, which is funded by State Grant, is a direct response to a recent uptick in motorcycle fatalities, Lewis said. The root causes of those deaths are speeding, unsafe turning and intoxication.
And in Santa Monica alone, officials see an average of one motorcycle fatality a year.
The latest Santa Monica fatality took place in January when a 22-year-old man was killed when his motorcycle collided with a car at the intersection of Pico Boulevard and 25th Street, marking the first fatal crash of 2013 in Santa Monica.
The accident took place near the scene of a February 2012 motorcycle crash that killed a 22-year-old who was racing another motorcyclist when he struck a 2005 Ford Expedition.
In May 2011, a 48-year-old personal trainer was killed after she crashed into a vehicle making an illegal U-turn on Ocean Avenue.
“Operations like this are aimed at curbing any more rises in motorcycle deaths and sending the numbers back downward,” Lewis said.
According to authorities the primary causes of motorcycle-involved crashes include speeding, unsafe turning and impairment due to alcohol and other drugs.
"All motorists should always be alert and watch out for motorcycles, especially when turning and changing lanes," Lewis said. “The message to all drivers and motorcyclists is: share in the responsibility and do your part by safely ‘sharing the road.’”
“As the economy turns upward, 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,” Lewis said.
Riders can get training through the California Motorcyclist Safety Program. Information and training locations are available at www.CA-msp.org or 1-877 RIDE 411 or 1-877-743-3411.