Santa Barbara- S County

Police Target Motorcycle Riders in Special Enforcement

Summer safety crackdown comes with a state funding grant

Motorcycle Summer Safety Crackdown

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Whether it's two wheels or four wheels  the rules of the road are there for our safety.  But this week motorcycle riders are getting a closer look from Santa Barbara police.

"There's certain things that motorcyclists tend to violate more than car drivers," said Santa Barbara Police Officer J.C. Hunter.

A special crackdown has been funded by the State Office of Traffic Safety.

Locally, Sgt. Mike McGrew says, "during the past year we have had 51 people injured in motorcycle collisions and we have had one fatality."

Summertime is also a time when police see more riders, who enjoy the sunny days on the road. 

"They're convenient to ride, to get in and out of traffic. The problem is a lot of them are stored in the garage in the winter season  and unfortunately many of the riders don't have proper licensing or skills to ride the vehicles so the accident rate on two wheeled vehicles increase during the summer," said Hunter.

Some drivers, stopped in today's enforcement had the right safety gear including an approved helmet, but didn't have the right paperwork. In some cases,  the motorcycle had to be impounded.

The bottom line will be safer streets, fewer injuries, and a message to take the ride seriously no matter  how many years you've been on the road.

"You're going to see a difference in a 20-year old male riding a sport bike and a 50-year old doctor riding his $30,000 Harley," said Hunter. "And you are going to see a more mature rider who is riding more safely  versus  an immature rider who is riding in a manner that's more consistent with  a racing vehicle on a roadway."

These officers know first hand, about the risks.

Even McGrew says he has close calls.  "I ride a motorcycle every day for a living and I have one or two close calls every day,  that are the other driver's fault."

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