Media Release
Media Release
Press Contact: Robert Rittenhouse, Sergeant, (510) 9815980

BPD WORKING TO REDUCE MOTORCYCLE FATALITIES
Enforcement Focus on Dangerous Riders & Careless Motorists

Berkeley, California (Friday, September 09, 2011) - Berkeley, California (Friday, September 9, 2011) The City of Berkeley Police Department
(BPD) will be conducting a specialized Motorcycle Safety Enforcement Operation on Sunday
September 11, 2011 in an effort towards lowering deaths and injuries.  A team of officers will be on duty that day patrolling areas frequented by motorcyclists and areas where motorcycle crashes most frequently occur.  Officers will be focusing on traffic violations made by motorcyclists as well as other vehicle drivers that can lead to motorcycle collisions, injuries and fatalities.

Motorcycle fatalities had been on the rise in California, increasing 175 percent in 11 years, from 204 killed in 1998 to 560 killed in 2008. This trend has reversed and data shows a 30 percent decrease with 394 motorcyclists killed in 2009.  Despite this dramatic improvement, California remains one of the top three states that lead the nation in motorcyclists’ deaths.

California collision data reveals that the primary causes of motorcycle-involved crashes include speeding, unsafe turning and impairment due to alcohol and other drugs.  BPD is also reminding all motorists to be alert and be mindful of motorcycles, especially when turning and changing lanes.

Another major factor leading to motorcycle crashes is lack of experience. Between 2006 and 2008, 58 percent of motorcycle operators killed under age 25 were not properly licensed. Riders, young and old, are encouraged to be properly licensed and to seek appropriate training and read/review safety information. 

“Motorcyclists are much more vulnerable than others sharing the road,” said California Office of Traffic Safety Director, Christopher J. Murphy. “Motorcyclists require special skills and abilities to reduce their risk of being involved in a crash.”

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.  Funding for this program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Traffic Safety Administration.

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