LBPD Prepares For Citywide Motorcycle Enforcement Operation

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Photo by Nathan Fixler

In an effort to promote motorcycle safety, the Long Beach Police Department’s Traffic Division will be conducting a citywide motorcycle enforcement operation on Saturday, July 16, 2011, from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Officers will target collision-prone areas frequented by motorcyclists, check for equipment and helmet violations, and enforce moving violations for motorcyclists as well as motorists in the area.

According to a study conducted by the U.S. Department of Transportation between 1997 and 2005, motorcycle registrations have jumped 63 percent, from 3,826,373 in 1997 to 6,227,146 in 2005. That number has now increased to over 10,000,000 registered motorcycles for 2011. In 2006 motorcycle rider fatalities reached 4,810, exceeding the number of pedestrian fatalities for the first time since the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) began collecting fatal motor vehicle crash data in 1975. This trend has been so pronounced that motorcycle fatalities have offset the gain in lives saved resulting from an increased use of seat belt and improved vehicle safety. Motorcycle rider fatalities now account for 11 percent of total fatalities, dramatically affecting the nation’s overall safety rate.

Speeding and impairment due to alcohol or drugs are contributing factors to the high number of motorcycle crashes, as well as inexperience. Many people are riding motorcycles without the proper motorcycle license endorsement and without the skills necessary to ride safely. All riders are encouraged to seek training and safety information, which can be obtained through the California Motorcyclist Safety Program. Information and training locations are available at, or by calling 1-877-RIDE-411 or 1-877-743-3411.

The Long Beach Police Department is also reminding all motorists to be aware of motorcyclists, especially when turning and changing lanes. Through a combination of education and enforcement efforts, Long Beach Police hope to lower the number of driver and motorist injuries and deaths.

Funding for this program is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. For further information contact Traffic Section Sergeant Ernie Kohagura at (562) 570-5737.

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