California - Fairfield police will be conducting a weekend safety operation geared at reducing the number of motorcycle riders injured or killed on local roadways, authorities announced Thursday.
Sunday's Motorcycle Safety Enforcement Operation will result in extra officers patrolling areas frequented by motorcyclists where crashes are known to occur, according to the Fairfield Police Department.
Officers will be cracking down on traffic violations made by both regular vehicle drivers and motorcyclists that can lead to motorcycle collisions, injuries and fatalities, authorities reported.
After 10 years of steadily increasing motorcycle fatalities in California, increasing 175 percent from 204 killed in 1998 to 560 in 2008, the trend has changed, police said. The following two years, 2009 and 2010, showed consecutive decreases in motorcycle fatalities, with 394 and 352, respectively -- a 37 percent decrease since the 2008 peak.
Police attribute some of the reduction in the number of riders killed to having fewer improperly-licensed motorcyclists on the road. In 2008, 62.7 percent of riders killed under age 25 were not properly licensed. In 2009, that statistic fell to 45.5 percent.
California collision data pinpointed speeding, unsafe turning and impairment due to alcohol and other drugs as primary causes of most motorcycle-involved crashes.
"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," California Office of Traffic Safety Director Christopher J. Murphy said.
Authorities encourage riders to be properly licensed and to seek training and safety information.
Riders can get training through the California Motorcyclist Safety Program. Information and training locations are available at California Motorcyclist Safety Program or call (877) RIDE 411 or (877) 743-3411.
Disclaimer: The opinions in this article are solely those of the writer, and may not reflect the beliefs of anyone at the Biker News Network/Outlaw Biker World.
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