Crime - Sacto 911

Police boost safety enforcement to curb rise in Stockton motorcycle crashes

Citing a spike in fatalities among motorcycle riders, Stockton police launched an enforcement effort Sunday aimed at lowering injuries and deaths, and said officers also will be on the lookout for automobile drivers endangering motorcylists.

Police said in a news release that extra officers will be on the streets of Stockton patrolling areas where motorcycle crashes have occurred and in areas frequented by motorcyclists.

The enforcement action comes after a period during which deaths of motorcycle riders had declined, police said. From 2008 to 2010, motorcycle fatalities dropped by 37 percent, according to police.

In 2012, however, fatalities rose 23 percent.

Police said that in 2012 and 2013 there were 102 motorcycle riders injured in collisions and three were killed. State collision data indicates the causes of such crashes primarily are speeding, unsafe turns and the use of alcohol or drugs, police said.

However, officers also will look for automobile drivers who make unsafe turns or lane changes near motorcyclists.

“Officers will be looking for violations made by drivers and riders alike that can lead to motorcycle crashes,” the department said in a news release. “They will be cracking down on both those operating regular vehicles and motorcycles who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, speeding, making illegal turns or any other dangerous violation.”