Motorcycle safety target in weekend enforcement campaign

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motorcycle safety enforcement campaign cracks downMotorcycle fatalities have been on the rise in California, increasing 175% in the last decade, from 204 killed in 1998 to 560 killed in 2008. In 2010, the City of Long of Beach has had 66 injury collisions and one motorcycle fatality.

In an effort to increase motorcycle safety through awareness, the Long Beach Police Department will conduct a specialized Motorcycle Safety Enforcement Operation this weekend, August 21-22.

Extra officers will be on-duty patrolling areas frequented by motorcyclists and where crashes occur. Officers will be cracking down on traffic violations made by motorcyclists as well as other vehicle drivers that can lead to motorcycle collisions, injuries and fatalities.

Factors contributing to motorcycle crashes often include speeding and impairment due to alcohol and other drugs by motorcyclists.  The Long Beach Police Department is also reminding all motorists to always be alert and watch out for motorcycles, especially when turning and changing lanes.

Another major factor leading to motorcycle crashes is inexperience. Riders, young and old, are encouraged to seek training and safety information. Many people are riding motorcycles without the proper motorcycle license endorsement and without the skills necessary to ride safely.

Rider’s can get training through the California Motorcyclist Safety Program. Information and training locations are available at or by calling 1-877-RIDE-411 (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 (NHTSA).

Motorcycle Safety Information

  • Motorcycle fatalities continued to spiral upward from 276 in 2000 to 518 in 2007, and to 560 in 2008. **
  • Motorcycle fatalities have increased 10 consecutive years and are at their highest level since 1990.
  • Total motorcycle registrations increased 7% from 772,524 in 2007 to 824,244 in 2008. (DMV)
  • Riders without the proper motorcycle license may be subject to motorcycle impound for up to 30 days.
  • In 2008, 37% of motorcycle operators killed were not properly licensed – an increase from 36% in 2007. **
  • Improper licensing is a greater problem among younger riders – 63% of the 16-24 year old operators killed in 2008 were not properly licensed
  • Of the 560 motorcyclists killed, at least 12% (68) were un-helmeted. Since helmets are about 39% effective in preventing fatalities, NHTSA estimates that 26 of the 68 un-helmeted motorcyclists killed would have survived had they worn a helmet.**
  • In 2008, 70% of motorcycle operators killed were at fault and 58% of motorcycle operators injured were at fault.*
  • The percent of motorcycle operators killed with a BAC =.08+ increased from 24% in 2007 to 26% in 2008. **
  • Super sport motorcycles, defined as consumer, street-legal versions of the motorcycles used by factory racing teams, account for 14% of the registered motorcycles in California, yet the 211 super sport drivers and passengers killed in 2008 accounted for 38% of the 560  motorcyclists killed in California.**

*Data Source – Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS)
**Data Source – Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS)

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