Turlock Police to Enforce Motorcycle Safety

The Turlock Police Department will have 16 extra patrols on throughout the day on Saturday, July 9, 2011, solely enforcing motorcycle safety related laws. This detail is being paid for by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety. Officers will be cracking down on traffic violations made by both motorcyclists and other vehicle drivers that can lead to motorcycle collisions, injuries and fatalities.

 
The Turlock Police Department will have 16 extra patrols on throughout the day on Saturday, July 9, 2011, solely enforcing motorcycle safety related laws. This detail is being paid for by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety. Officers will be cracking down on traffic violations made by both motorcyclists and 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.That trend has stopped and data shows a 30 percent decrease, to 394 motorcyclists killed in 2009. Despite this dramatic improvement, California remains one of three states that lead the nation in motorcyclist’s deaths.
 
Sgt. Neil Cervenka, Turlock Police Department Traffic Safety Unit Supervisor said, “Today’s high fuel prices and congested roadways make motorcycles very attractive to many people. Unfortunately, many of those people fail to get the proper training – or any training – before heading out on two wheels.” Whilst motorcycles are attractive to many people, they can be dangerous if people haven’t had the appropriate training. Before looking into purchasing a motorcycle, it’s recommended that people consider getting some lessons first to keep themselves and other road users safe. Once they’re more confident, they could then consider purchasing a motorcycle. There are some available at cleanharleys.com, for example. Hopefully, this will help people to purchase their dream motorcycle.

 
Sgt. Cervenka said, “Many of the officers participating are motorcycle enthusiasts. We, in no way, want to discourage safe and courteous motorcycling. We simply want to reach out to the motorcycling community and ensure they are following the law, and riding safe.”
 
California collision data reveals that primary causes of motorcycle-involved crashes include speeding, unsafe turning and impairment due to alcohol and other drugs.  The Turlock Police Department is also reminding all motorists to always be alert and watch out for motorcycles, especially when turning and changing lanes.
 
The grant also paid for Sgt. Cervenka to attend the instructor course for a Motorcycle Safety and Enforcement Training earlier this year.  That training is being presented nationally and was developed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the International Association of Directors of Law Enforcement Standards and Training.  Cervenka, in turn, provided the training to every patrol officer and many of the officers not assigned to the street.
 
This training will be crucial when officers are looking for violations involving both motorcycles and regular vehicles. The purpose will not be to give every motorcyclist or vehicle a ticket. The purpose is to make sure motorcyclists have the right equipment, licensing, training and awareness of the laws that govern them and their chosen vehicle.  In addition, regular vehicle drivers will be reminded to always be alert and watch out for motorcycles, especially when turning and changing lanes.

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