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Motorcycle Safety Campaign Underway

Newport Beach police are placing extra focus on areas where motorcyclists frequent in an effort to reduce injuries and fatal crashes.

A motorcycle officer in Newport Beach. (Photo courtesy NBPD)
A motorcycle officer in Newport Beach. (Photo courtesy NBPD)
Newport Beach police are on the lookout for drivers and motorcyclists whose driving violations may cause a motorcycle crash.

The safety campaign began at the beginning of August and will continue through the end of this month, police spokeswoman Jennifer Manzella said. Extra police officers are patrolling areas most likely to be frequented by motorcyclists, and spots where motorcycle crashes have occurred.

Fatal motorcycle crashes in Newport Beach decreased by 37 percent from 2008 to 2010, but rose 18 percent in 2011. Last year there were 37 motorcycle crashes in the city, so far this year 31 crashes have been reported and one motorcyclist, Patrick Lee, died on Aug. 22.

"This campaign was not prompted by [Lee's death]," Manzella said. "It's a routine campaign, funded through the Office of Traffic Safety. But something like that does bring a new focus to the city's drivers and officers." 

Lee, 25, was killed after seven cars and his motorcycle crashed at the intersection of Bristol Street North and Campus Drive. Newport Beach police said the investigation into what caused the fatal crash remains open.

During the current campaign, officers will be looking for violations made by both drivers and riders that can lead to motorcycle crashes including anyone who is driving or riding under the influence of drugs or alcohol, speeding, making illegal turns, or any other dangerous violation. 

Which areas should Newport Beach police be patrolling? Tell us in the comments.

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Mark Adams September 20, 2013 at 09:26 AM
Motorcycle safety in CA is never going to improve. Allowing riders to split lanes, weave in and out of traffic is dangerous to both the cyclist and auto drivers. That's especially true on congested city streets like PCH. Until that law is revoked riding a motorcycle is a dangerous proposition

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