California is home to more than 1.3 million licensed motorcyclists and some of the best riding weather year round. Unfortunately, the state has also experienced an increase in the number of people killed in motorcycle-involved collisions. The California Highway Patrol (CHP) is preparing to address the problem with the help of a federal grant that will fund a yearlong, lifesaving effort.
"Motorcycle awareness is a priority for the California Highway Patrol and a key to saving lives on the roadway," said CHP commissioner Joe Farrow. "Education combined with enforcement will help reinforce the concept that all motorists need to safely share the road."
Each year hundreds of motorcyclists are killed in collisions and thousands are injured. According to preliminary data from the CHP’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System, there has been nearly a 20 percent increase in the number of motorcyclists killed from 2010 to 2011. The recent increase follows a two-year decline (2008-2010) in motorcycle-involved collisions.
To reverse the trend and reduce motorcycle-involved collisions resulting in injury or death, the CHP has begun an intensive public awareness campaign which will run through September 30, 2013. In addition to enforcement, the campaign includes an education component which will be achieved through public service announcements, social media, public outreach events, and motorcycle safety and road-sharing presentations throughout California.
"Without a continued focus on motorcycle safety education for all motorists, the number of motorcycle-involved collisions may continue to rise, especially as more Californians are turning to motorcycles as a means of transportation," added commissioner Farrow.
Funding for the California Motorcycle Safety Enforcement and Education II was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.