Despite a decline in motorcycle fatalities, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department officials are seeking to promote the importance of riding safely.
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“Riders and drivers need to respect each other and share the road,” said California Office of Traffic Safety Director, Christopher J. Murphy.
In California from 1998 to 2008, the number of motorcyclists killed rose from 204 to 560. After a decade of steadily increasing fatalities – the trend has changed.
In 2010 the number of motorcycle fatalities fell from 394 to 352 – a 37 percent decrease since the peak in 2008.
However, in the area policed by the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, the number of motorcyclists injured over the last 13 years nearly quadrupled with 47 in 1998 compared to 184 in 2013.
Also, the number of motorcyclists killed over the same time period tripled with two killed in 1998 and six killed in 2011.
Some of the reduction in deaths can be attributed to fewer improperly licensed riders. In 2008, a third of motorcycle operators killed under age 25 were not properly licensed. In 2009, that number fell to about a half.
In an attempt to continue lowering deaths and injuries, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Risk Management Bureau will conduct a specialized Motorcycle Safety Enforcement Operation on June 26 in Diamond Bar.
“The terrible trend of rising motorcyclist fatalities has been reversed, though there is more that everyone can do to save more lives,” Murphy said.
Deputies will patrol areas frequented by motorcyclists and where motorcycle crashes occur. They will look for drivers and riders who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Deputies will also crack down on traffic violations made by motorcyclists as well as other vehicle drivers that can lead to motorcycle collisions, injuries and fatalities.
California collision data reveals that primary causes of motorcycle-involved crashes include speeding, unsafe turning and impairment due to alcohol and other drugs.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is also reminding all motorists to always be alert and watch out for motorcycles, especially when turning and changing lanes.
Riders, young and old, are encouraged to be properly licensed and to seek training and safety information.
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