[Elist] Fw: OTS Motorcycle Safety Enforcement Operations

John Del Santo mcbwaycool at yahoo.com
Mon Aug 8 13:38:44 PET 2011


--- On Mon, 8/8/11, Miller, Ron at OTS <Ron.Miller at ots.ca.gov> wrote:

From: Miller, Ron at OTS <Ron.Miller at ots.ca.gov>
Subject: OTS Motorcycle Safety Enforcement Operations
To: "John Del Santo" <mcbwaycool at yahoo.com>
Date: Monday, August 8, 2011, 8:32 AM

Below is the template that we provide to police departments for distribution to the media.  Most newspapers print the information just as it is presented in the press release, but sometimes newspaper will leave out important information.  Case in point is the August 6, 2011 story from the Napa Valley Register.  They took out the word ‘safety’ from the motorcycle safety enforcement operation and failed to mention police scrutiny of violations by drivers.  The intention of these operations is to improve motorcycle safety by discouraging bad driving and bad riding.  When the paper leaves out the word ‘safety’ and fails to mention that police will also be ticketing other vehicle drivers, they really do a disservice to the public and they make it look like police are just going after motorcyclists, which is not the case.  We require the police departments to issue this press release prior to conducting each motorcycle safety enforcement
 operation because the operation serves as a reason to publicize safe driving and safe riding, and the news media will reach far more people than the officers’ ticket books.   These operations result in far more police stops of “other vehicles” than of motorcycles.  OTS does not fund motorcycle-only checkpoints. The Motorcycle Safety Enforcement Operations involve police officers patrolling in areas frequented by motorcycles and doing standard traffic enforcement that requires the officers to have probably cause to make a traffic stop. Patrols should not be confused with checkpoints.  OTS does fund DUI checkpoints which  are fixed, roadside operations where all vehicles passing through are subject to screening.  John, I appreciate the opportunity to clarify the safety operations that we do fund.  Thanks.
Ron Miller
Regional Coordinator
California Office of Traffic Safety
T: 916-509-3020
F: 916-509-3055
E: Ron.Miller at ots.ca.gov
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                                 CONTACT:
[DATE RELEASE IS DISTRIBUTED]                                           [NAME]
<City> Police Department Working To Reduce Motorcycle Fatalities
Police to increase enforcement aimed at dangerous riders and careless motorists
The <city> Police Department will be conducting a specialized Motorcycle Safety Enforcement Operation on <date> in an effort to continue lowering deaths and injuries.  Extra officers will be on duty patrolling areas frequented by motorcyclists and where motorcycle crashes occur.  Officers will be [for AL (DUI) grants, insert the following] <looking for drivers and riders who are under the influence of drug or alcohol and> cracking down on traffic violations made by motorcyclists as well as 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. 
  <Insert your local Motorcycle Crash/Fatality/Injury data>.
California collision data reveals that primary causes of motorcycle-involved crashes include speeding, unsafe turning and impairment due to alcohol and other drugs.  The <city> Police Department is also reminding all motorists to always be alert and watch out for motorcycles, especially when turning and changing lanes.
Another major factor leading to motorcycle crashes is inexperience. Between 2006 and 2008, 58 percent of motorcycle operators killed under age 25 were not properly licensed. Riders, young and old, are encouraged to be properly licensed and to seek training and safety information.  
“Motorcyclists are much more vulnerable than others sharing the road,” said California Office of Traffic Safety Director, Christopher J. Murphy. “Motorcyclists require special skills and abilities to reduce their risk of being involved in a crash.”
Rider’s can get training through the California Motorcyclist Safety Program. Information and training locations are available at www.CA-msp.org or 1-877 RIDE 411 or 1-877-743-3411.
Funding for this program is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. 
# # #
Motorcycle Safety Tips
Tips for drivers to help keep motorcyclists safe on our roadways: 
* Always make a visual check for motorcycles by checking mirrors and blind spots before entering or leaving a lane of traffic and at intersections;
* Always signal your intentions before changing lanes or merging with traffic; 
* Don’t be fooled by a flashing turn signal on a mo­torcycle – motorcycle signals are often not self-canceling and riders sometimes forget to turn them off. Wait to be sure the motorcycle is going to turn before you proceed;
* Allow more following distance, three or four sec­onds, when behind a motorcycle so the motorcyclist has enough time to maneuver or stop in an emer­gency. And don’t tailgate. In dry conditions, motorcycles can stop more quickly than cars. 
*Never drive while distracted.  
Motorcyclists can increase their safety by:
* Positioning themselves in the lane where they will be most visible to other drivers.
*Never driving while impaired.  
* Wearing a DOT-compliant helmet;
* Use your motorcycle’s turn signals; it is California law. Combine hand signals and turn signals to draw more attention to yourself.
* Combining hand signals and turn signals to draw more attention to themselves;
* Avoiding riding in poor weather conditions;
* Wearing brightly colored protective gear;
* Using reflective tape and stickers to increase conspicuity; and
The message to all drivers and motorcyclists is: Help to share in the responsibility and do your part by safely “sharing the road.”  
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