Motorcycle Safety Enforcement in California

motorcycle_02If you are riding on a motorcycle in San Diego, are you at higher risk of suffering injuries in an auto accident than other motorists? According to a recent article in the Ventura County Star, law enforcement officials in our state are concerned about motorcyclist safety and are conducting motorcycle safety enforcement operations in Southern California. It is important to know the risks associated with motorcycle accidents, and it is essential for bikers to understand the ways in which we can all work together to prevent deadly crashes.

Safety Enforcement Operation Targets Common Motorcycle Accident Areas

According to the article, earlier this month the Ventura County sheriff’s office planned an operation to “patrol areas frequented by motorcyclists and where motorcycle crashes have occurred.” The law enforcement officers planned to keep a close eye on traffic violations committed by automobile drivers, but also by motorcyclists who share the roadways. While not all motorcycle collisions occur during daylight hours, more auto accidents happen during the daytime work week than you might think. As such, the enforcement period focused on the hours between 7:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.

What are some of the behaviors and violations the Ventura County sheriff’s office aimed to stop through the safety enforcement operation? Authorities are interested in both identifying traffic violations that can put other drivers and riders at risk in addition to helping motorcyclists to learn ways of staying safe on the road. Generally speaking, traffic citations can be issued for certain forms of aggressive driving, such as speeding, running red lights, and riding through stop signs. But other safety issues involving motorcycles do not necessarily allow law enforcement officers to issue citations. According to the article, the safety enforcement operation also hoped to encourage motorcyclists and automobile drivers to pay attention to the following issues:

  • Knowing the importance of sharing the road, both for motorcyclists and automobile drivers alike;
  • Automobile drivers looking twice for motorcyclists before turning, entering the highway, or changing lanes;
  • Motorcycle riders wearing helmets and protective clothing;
  • Motorcyclists only changing lanes when there is “ample room” to do so;
  • Staying with the speed of traffic, particularly if you are a motorcyclist (and not speeding ahead or weaving between cars); and
  • Motorcycle riders using lights at all times, even during the day.

A guide from Consumer Reports emphasizes that, while not all states require motorcyclists to wear helmets, a helmet is indeed required of all riders in California. Wearing a DOT-approved motorcycle helmet is not just an important safety decision—it is also the law.

Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

Given the key issues in the motorcycle safety enforcement operation we discussed above, you may be able to guess some of the primary causes of motorcycle collisions. According to a fact sheet from the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), the following represent some of the most common reasons that motorcycle accidents and fatalities occur:

  • Failure to wear a helmet;
  • Failure to have a valid motorcycle license and/or training;
  • Impaired riding or driving (driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol); and
  • Speeding.

In 2013 alone, according to the GHSA, more than one-third of all deadly motorcycle accidents involved riders who had been speeding.

Contact a San Diego Motorcycle Accident Attorney

If you or someone you love suffered serious injuries in a motorcycle collision, an experienced San Diego motorcycle accident lawyer can help. Contact the Walton Law Firm today to learn more about our services.

See Related Blog Posts:
Avoiding Common Motorcycle Accident Scenarios
Preventing Motorcycle Accidents with Better Technology

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