A police crackdown on motorcycle safety issues is planned for Saturday in Merced, the Police Department announced.
Additional patrols will be deployed in areas frequented by motorcyclists, and officers will target speeding, drunken driving and illegal turning – the most common causes of motorcycle-involved crashes, police said.
Since 2010, Merced police have investigated four fatalities related to motorcycle collisions, Sgt. Jacob Struble said in a statement.
“In three of the four fatalities, the motorcycle rider’s excessive speed was a contributing factor to the rider’s death,” Struble said.
Statewide, motorcycle deaths dropped 37percent from 2008 to 2010, but climbed by 18percent in 2011, police said.
“Operations like this are aimed at curbing any more rises in motorcycle deaths and sending the numbers back downward,” Struble said.
Police expect motorcycle-related collisions to climb in the coming years but are hoping to curb those incidents.
“As the economy turns upward, there will likely be more miles driven by all vehicles, plus more novice motorcycle riders who are untrained and unable to handle the power of today’s motorcycles,” Struble said.
Riders can receive training through the California Motorcycle Safety Program by calling (877)743-3411.
Funding for Saturday’s additional police patrols comes from a grant from the state Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.