Only three motorcycle moving violations were issued citations by four officers in last month's first concentrated enforcement by Long Beach Police Department, but 25 helmet violations and motorcycle equipment violations were ticketed, one cycle was impounded and 20 non-motorcycle moving violations were issued.
And a second effort, funded by state and federal grants, is scheduled by Long Beach Police Department Saturday. The time frame was not stated in the following announcement, nor a region of the city, suggesting it may be a citywide sweep. Here are some safety tips the department offered at this link, and here is the department's release:
The Long Beach Police Department will be conducting a second specialized Motorcycle Safety Enforcement Operation on Saturday, July 28, 2012, in an effort to continue lowering deaths and injuries. Extra officers will be on duty patrolling areas frequented by motorcyclists and where motorcycle crashes occur. Officers will be looking for drivers and riders who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol and cracking down on traffic violations made by motorcyclists as well as other vehicle drivers that can lead to motorcycle collisions, injuries and fatalities.
While motorcycle fatalities had been on the rise in California, increasing 175% in the last decade and killing 204 in 1998 and 560 in 2008, the trend changed in 2009. In that year, California experienced a 29.6% reduction with 394 motorcyclists killed, and the preliminary 2010 numbers indicating another 10% drop to 353 motorcyclists killed. In 2010, 5 motorcyclists were killed in the City of Long Beach, with 132 motorcyclists being injured. In 2011, the number of motorcycle fatalities remained at 5, but the number of injuries increased by 15.9% with 153 motorcyclists injured. So far in 2012, there have been 4 motorcycle fatalities in Long Beach.
California collision data reveals that primary causes of motorcycle-involved crashes include speeding, unsafe turning, and impairment due to alcohol and/or drugs. 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.
Some of the reduction in riders killed may be attributable to fewer improperly licensed riders. In 2008, 62.7% of motorcycle operators killed under age 25 were not properly licensed. In 2009, that statistic fell to only 45.5%. Riders, young and old, are encouraged to be properly licensed and to seek training and safety information.
"The terrible trend of rising motorcyclist fatalities has been reversed, though there is more that everyone can do to save more lives. Riders and drivers need to respect each other and share the road," said California Office of Traffic Safety Director, Christopher J. Murphy.
Riders can get training through the California Motorcyclist Safety Program. Information and training locations are available at www.CA-msp.org or 1-877-RIDE-411 or 1-877-743-3411.
The last specialized Motorcycle Safety Operation that L.B.P.D. conducted was on Saturday, June 30, 2012. Four motorcycle officers were assigned to the operation to enhance motorcycle enforcement throughout the city. During the operation, the officers produced the following statistics:
- 15 helmet violations
- 10 motorcycle equipment violations
- 3 motorcycle moving violations
- 1 motorcycle license endorsement violation
- 20 vehicle moving violations
- 1 motorcycle impounded
Funding for this program is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.