The Long Beach Police Department’s (LBPD) Traffic Section conducted a Motorcycle Safety Operation on Sunday and cited 44 motorcyclists for unsafe driving and/or wearing a non-DOT (Department of Transportation) approved helmet, five drivers for unsafe driving around motorcycle riders and one motorcyclist for having suspended license.
Motor officers patrolled the City for five hours searching for unsafe driving by motorcyclists as well as drivers operating vehicles unsafely around motorcyclists.
According to the LBPD, motorcycle fatalities dropped 37 percent from 2008 to 2010, but then rose by 23 percent by 2012. Safety operations like this are designed to curb a further rise in motorcycle deaths. Over the past three years, motorcycle-involved collisions have resulted in 15 fatal and approximately 277 injury crashes in Long Beach.
Speeding, unsafe turning and alcohol and drug impairment are the primary causes of motorcycle-involved crashes for both riders and drivers alike, according to California collision data.
The LBPD urges motorcyclists to ride with their lights on, even during daylight hours, and to use their lane position to increase their visibility on the road. They also recommend changing lanes only when there is plenty of room, to have motorcyclists match their speed to surrounding traffic and to always wear a DOT compliant helmet and brightly colored, protective clothing. Motorcyclists should be trained through the California Motorcyclist Safety Program.
For drivers, safety tips include sharing the road by looking twice for motorcyclists, especially when entering a roadway, turning or changing lanes. Motorcyclists are allowed in HOV lanes unless stated otherwise by signage.
Funding for this safety program is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The message to all drivers and motorcyclists is: share in the responsibility and do your part by safely "sharing the road."