The California Highway Patrol will begin a two-year effort to reduce motorcycle-involved fatal collisions and injuries by 5 percent in Los Angeles, San Diego, Orange and San Bernardino counties .
"The number of motorcycle crashes and fatalities, especially in these four counties, continues to be troubling," CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow said. "With the help of this grant and the cooperation of motorcyclists and motorists alike, hopefully we can reverse this trend."
The CHP will implement a 24-month traffic safety program focusing on motorcycle fatalities and injuries throughout the high-risk counties. The project will involve enforcement from the air and a public education campaign.
The effort also will include the production of two public service announcements that will promote the use of helmets and raise awareness of sharing the road with motorcyclists. The digital driver warring system in place on California highways posts messages to be on the lookout for bikers and to share the road with them.
Fifteen motorcycle safety presentations will be conducted in the four high-risk areas, and at least nine motorcycle safety enforcement operations will take place in areas with a high number of motorcycle incidents.
The program is funded by a grant from the state Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
On a similar note, the LAPD has also begun a motorcycle safety program, that is aimed at raising driver awareness of bikers riding on the streets and freeways especially during rush hour traffic and late at night. The LAPD also made a point of asking bikers to be proactive when riding and to not split lanes in heavy traffic situations.
Topanga Canyon, Pacific Coast Highway, Crenshaw Boulevard and the San Fernando Valley are among the areas that will be patrolled more vigorously for traffic violations made not only by motorcyclists but by drivers of other vehicles who make unsafe lane changes and turns that put motorcyclists at risk.
"The sole purpose of these details is to look for motorcycle violations or motorists doing unsafe things in front of motorcycles," Inman said of the increased patrols that will be conducted by motorcycle officers in eight-hour stints. "We’re not just going after motorcyclists. We’re trying to protect their lives."
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