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Extra patrols look to enforce motorcyclist safety

POSTED July 8, 2011 9:16 p.m.

In an effort to keep motorcyclists safe, the Turlock Police Department is planning a day of enforcement.

The department will have 16 extra patrols throughout today to solely enforce motorcycle safety related laws. 

The detail is being paid for by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety. Officers will be cracking down on traffic violations made by both motorcyclists and other vehicle drivers that can lead to motorcycle collisions, injuries and fatalities.

Motorcycle fatalities had been on the rise in California, increasing 175 percent in 11 years, from 204 killed in 1998 to 560 killed in 2008. That trend has stopped and data shows a 30 percent decrease to 394 motorcyclists killed in 2009.  Despite this dramatic improvement, California remains one of three states that lead the nation in motorcyclists’ deaths.

“Today’s high fuel prices and congested roadways make motorcycles very attractive to many people.  Unfortunately, many of those people fail to get the proper training – or any training – before heading out on two wheels,” said Turlock Police Department Traffic Safety Unit Supervisor Sgt. Neil Cervenka. “Many of the officers participating are motorcycle enthusiasts.  We, in no way, want to discourage safe and courteous motorcycling.  We simply want to reach out to the motorcycling community and ensure they are following the law, and riding safe.”

California collision data reveals that primary causes of motorcycle-involved crashes include speeding, unsafe turning and impairment due to alcohol and other drugs.  The Turlock Police Department is also reminding all motorists to always be alert and watch out for motorcycles, especially when turning and changing lanes.

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