With motorcycle accidents on the increase, Santa Rosa police on Tuesday will be cracking down on traffic violations that could led to motorcycle collisions.
Extra officers will patrol city streets frequently used by motorcyclists and where motorcycle crashes have occurred and will ticket motorcyclists and other drivers, Sgt. Rich Celli said in a statement.
He said motorcyclist deaths in California have more than doubled since 2000, from 276 then to 560 in 2008. Last year, 48 motorcycle accidents occurred in Santa Rosa with 43 injuries and one death.
Funding for the stepped up enforcement is from a grant from the state Office of Traffic Safety.
In his statement, Celli included some motorcycle safety facts:
–Motorcycle fatalities continued to spiral upward from 276 in 2000, to 518 in 2007, and to 560 in 2008.
–Motorcycle fatalities have increased 10 consecutive years and are at their highest level since 1990.
–Total motorcycle registrations in California increased 7 percent from 772,524 in 2007 to 824,244 in 2008.
–Riders without the proper motorcycle license may be subject to motorcycle impound for up to 30 days.
–In 2008, 37 percent of motorcycle operators killed were not properly licensed, up from 36 percent in 2007.
–Improper licensing is a greater problem among younger riders, where 63 percent of the 16- to 24-year-old operators killed in 2008 were not properly licensed.
–Of the 560 motorcyclists killed, at least 12 percent (68) were un-helmeted. Because helmets are about 39 percent effective in preventing fatalities, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates 26 of the 68 unhelmeted motorcyclists killed would have survived had they worn a helmet.
–In 2008, 70 percent of motorcycle operators killed were at fault and 58 percent of motorcycle operators injured were at fault.
–The percent of motorcycle operators killed with a blood alcohol level of .08 plus increased from 24 percent in 2007 to 26 percent in 2008.
–Super sport motorcycles, defined as consumer, street-legal versions of the motorcycles used by factory racing teams, account for 14 percent of the registered motorcycles in California, yet the 211 super sport drivers and passengers killed in 2008 accounted for 38 percent of the 560 motorcyclists killed in California.