Dangerous drivers will get special attention by the Long Beach Police Department Saturday as officers launch a "Motorcycle Safety Enforcement Operation."
An increased number of officers will patrol roadways where motorcycles travel often and where collisions are likey to happen. Officers will also be on the lookout for vehicles breaking traffic rules and reckless driving.
The operation comes only a few months after Long Beach resident Mark Alonso, 51, was after he was hit by a truck on the Pacific Coast Highway near the Traffic Circle in Long Beach.
However, motorcycle accidents and injuries have actually been decreasing in past years, according to a statement by police, bucking a decade-long statewide trend in which California saw a 175 increase of motorcycle deaths from 1998 - 2008.
Since then, the numbers continue to decrease, with only five motorcyclists killed and 132 injured in Long Beach in 2010, according to a police statement, which is down from previous years.
"The terrible trend of rising motorcyclist fatalities has been reversed, though there is more that everyone can do to save more lives,” said California Office of Traffic Safety Director, Christopher J. Murphy, in a statement. “Riders and drivers need to respect each other and share the road."
Drivers are encouraged to use safe practices such as looking out for motorcycles when turning or changing lanes, not speeding and of course, being sober behind the wheel, all of which have been shown to be major causes of motorcycle collisions, according to a statement by police.
Some of the reduction may also be due to a drop in licensed riders, according to the police department. A lack of safe driving skills is especially important on motorcycles, which provide less protection from the road than traditional modes of transportation, like cars.
The California Motorcyclist Safety Program provides training and information for motorcycle riders. For more information, click here or call 1-877-RIDE-411 or 1-877-743-3411.