CHP grant aims to reduce motorcycle-involved collisions

There are more than 1.3 million licensed motorcyclists in California, according to the CHP. (KARINA CORNEJO)

There are more than 1.3 million licensed motorcyclists in California, according to the CHP. (KARINA CORNEJO)

When it comes to beautiful weather and scenic highways, not many places compare to California’s optimal riding conditions. The state’s growing population and popularity among motorcyclists makes motorcycle safety an important issue for the California Highway Patrol (CHP).

To help enhance safety throughout the state, the CHP has been awarded a motorcycle safety grant with the goal of reducing the number of people killed or injured in motorcycle-involved collisions.

“By raising awareness through a combination of grant-funded education and enforcement efforts, and reinforcing the concept of sharing the road, we hope to save lives,” said CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow.

According to the CHP’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System, preliminary data for 2011 indicates there were 433 people killed in motorcycle-involved collisions, a 20 percent increase from the previous year. The 2011 data also shows more than 12,000 people were injured in similar collisions, a 10 percent increase from 2010. Overall, motorcycle collisions also increased by 10 percent from 2010 to 2011.

With the help of the California Motorcycle Safety Enforcement and Education III grant, the CHP plans to take several steps to meet the goal of reducing motorcycle collisions and the injuries and deaths associated with them.

A yearlong series of public outreach campaigns are planned throughout the state, including the CHP’s month-long “Motorcycle Safety Awareness” campaign in May 2014. There will be at least 60 motorcycle safety and road-sharing presentations held at venues throughout California.

A major component of the outreach campaigns will be to emphasize the “Share the Road” message to educate motorcyclists and drivers alike about their shared responsibility of safety while on the road.

“Motorcyclists have all the same rights and responsibilities as any motor vehicle driver on the roadway,” added Commissioner Farrow. “Year-round, we urge the motoring public to keep an eye out for one another and safely share the road.”

Funding for this program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

(Information via press release from the California Highway Patrol.)