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Santa Monica Police to Enforce Motorcycle Safety

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By Lookout Staff

June 30, 2014 – The Santa Monica Police Department (SMPD) will be stepping up its efforts to prevent motorcycle accidents this Saturday as extra officers take to the streets looking for reckless cyclists and drivers.

During SMPD’s Motorcycle Safety Enforcement Operation, officers will be extra vigilant when it comes to both two wheeled and four wheeled vehicles in an effort to ensure motorists drive safely.

“Officers will be looking for those who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, speeding, making illegal turns or any other dangerous violations that will lead to motorcycle collisions,” said Lt. Jay Moroso, the Police Department spokesman.

While motorcycle fatalities in Santa Monica dropped 37 percent from 2008 to 2010, they rose 23 percent by 2012.

Saturday’s enforcement operation is aimed at curbing motorcycle deaths, Moroso said. 

"Both police presence and action works in preventing these kinds of collisions, but the most important way to get people to comply to the law and safe habits is to educate them,” he said.

“Education is the best way to prevent any accident out on the road,” he said.

According to authorities, the primary causes of motorcycle accidents include speeding, unsafe turning and impairment due to alcohol and other drugs.  

The Santa Monica Police Department is also reminding motorists to always be alert and watch out for motorcycles, especially when turning and changing lanes.  

“The message to all drivers and motorcyclists is to share in the responsibility and do your part by safely ‘sharing the road,'" Moroso said. 

The Department is also reminding riders to be cautious and use common sense.

"Drive defensively," Moroso said. "You can't be as visible as you are in a car and you have to anticipate where each car is going.

"Stop at the stop signs and don't speed," he said.   "Speeding is always a major factor in accidents. The laws of physics are the laws of physics."

Sensible clothing can also be a factor in motorcycle safety, Moroso said.

“We highly recommend motorcyclists wear protective gear, which includes helmets, leather jackets, gloves and boots," he said. "Always wear substantial footwear that will protect your feett in case of a collision.

"A sandal won't stop a 600 pound motorized vehicle from doing any kind of lasting damage," said Moroso.

 Riders can get training through the California Motorcyclist Safety Program. Information and training locations are available at or 1-877 RIDE 411 or 1-877-743-3411.

Funding for this program is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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