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Police to Be on Lookout for Violations Involving Motorcyclists

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By Lookout Staff

May 23, 2023 -- Extra officers will be patrolling Santa Monica's streets Thursday and Friday looking for violations that involve motorcycles, which proliferate on the nation's roads during summer.

The operation comes as injuries and fatalities involving motorcycles have been steadily rising as motorcycles become an increasingly popular form of transportation.

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More than 5,500 motorcyclists died on U.S. roads in 2020, and more than 180,000 were treated in emergency departments for crash injuries, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Motorcyclists are 28 times more likely than passenger car occupants to die in a crash per vehicle mile traveled and five times more likely to be injured, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports.

"The top primary crash factors for motorcycles are unsafe speed, improper turning, right-of-way violations, driving under the influence and unsafe lane changes." Santa Monica police officials said.

"Speeding is the most common, accounting for nearly a third of all crashes in the state."

Drivers should always check twice for motorcycles in their mirrors and blind spots and never follow a motorcycle too closely, officials said.

Motorcyclists are not encouraged to split lanes, a practice that is legal, while traveling at high speeds in free-flowing traffic, police officials said.

Motorcyclists should always wear a DOT compliant helmet and protective gear, consider adding reflective tape to make them easier to see and always keep their lights on, even during the day.

According to an NHTSA report, helmets saved an estimated 1,872 lives in 2017, and 749 more lives could have been saved if all motorcyclists had worn helmets.

SMPD held motorcycle safety enforcement operations throughout May.

Funding for theses operations is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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