The Turlock Police Department will have 16 extra patrols on throughout the day on Saturday, August 13, 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 conducting traffic enforcement on traffic violations made by both motorcyclists and other vehicle drivers that can lead to motorcycle collisions, injuries and fatalities.
This is a follow-up enforcement day from the first educational day in July. The vast majority of motorists and motorcyclists were given warnings during the first educational day.
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 Traffic Safety Unit Supervisor said, “As Public Safety Professionals, we want to educate motorists and motorcyclists first. Compliance is our overall goal.”
“We want to reach as many as we can to continue to decrease the motorcycle death and injury statistics. OTS and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have spent millions on advertising and education. Turlock Police Department conducted the first motorcycle safety enforcement day in July with education in mind. This motorcycle safety enforcement day will be with enforcement in mind” said Sgt Cervenka.
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. Sgt Cervenka, in turn, has provided training to every patrol officer along with officers currently assigned to other no-patrol functions such as detectives, narcotics and repeat offender units.
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.
The Turlock Police Department is an active participant in the Crime Stoppers Program. Callers can leave an anonymous tip by calling Crime Stoppers at (209) 521-4636 and may be eligible for a cash reward.