Tuesday, August 29, 2017


As the summer winds down, many motor cyclists will hit the roads to take advantage of the end of the warmer weather. Stay alive on your motorcycle: always wear a DOT-compliant helmet and protective clothing, never ride while distracted, be properly licensed, don’t speed, and always remember — Ride Sober or Get Pulled Over.

Operating a motorcycle requires an enhanced level of focus, coordination, and balance. Compromising your skills by drinking alcohol and/or taking drugs or medication and riding can be a deadly decision – one that puts not only yourself at risk, but the lives of other road users as well.

If you plan on drinking, using marijuana and taking drugs in combination with alcohol at all, leave your motorcycle out of your plans. Designate a sober rider, or make arrangements for a safe ride home and a place to store your motorcycle before you have any alcohol.

In recent years, California has seen a disturbing increase in drug-impaired riding or driving crashes. Garden Grove PD supports the new effort from the Office of Traffic Safety that aims to educate all drivers that “DUI Doesn’t Just Mean Booze.” If you take prescription drugs, particularly those with a driving or operating machinery warning on the label, you might be impaired enough to get a DUI. Marijuana can also be impairing, especially in combination with alcohol or other drugs, and can result in a DUI.

Officers will be looking for signs of alcohol and/or drug impairment. When possible, specially trained officers will be available to evaluate those suspected of drug-impaired riding or driving, which now accounts for a growing number of drug impaired driving crashes.

  • According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2015 there were 4,976 motorcyclists (4,684 riders and 292 passengers) killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes — an increase of more than 8 percent from the 4,586 motorcyclists killed in 2014.
  • There were an estimated 88,000 motorcyclists injured during 2015, a 3-percent decrease from the 92,000 motorcyclists injured in 2014.
  • In 2015, two-wheeled motorcycles accounted for 93 percent of all motorcycles in fatal crashes.
  • Even though motorcycles account for only about 3 percent of registered vehicles on the road, motorcycle riders are dramatically overrepresented in fatal crashes, especially those involving alcohol.
  • In 2015, motorcycle riders involved (killed and survived) in fatal crashes had higher percentages of alcohol impairment than any other type of motor vehicle driver (27% for motorcycle riders, 21% for passenger car and light-truck drivers, and 2% for drivers of large trucks).
  • In 2015, the highest percentage of fatally injured, alcohol-impaired motorcycle riders were in the 35-to-39 age group (37%), followed by the 45-to-49 age group (36%), and the 40-to-44 age group (34%).
  • Forty-two percent of the 1,905 motorcycle riders who died in single-vehicle crashes in 2015 were alcohol-impaired. Sixty-three percent of those killed in single-vehicle crashes on weekend nights were alcohol-impaired.
  • In 2015, the reported helmet use rate for alcohol-impaired motorcycle riders killed in traffic crashes was 51 percent, as compared to 65 percent for those with no alcohol consumed (BAC=.00 g/dL).
  • Financial Impacts

    • On average, a DUI can set you back $10,000 in attorney fees, fines, court costs, lost time at work, higher insurance rates, vehicle towing and repairs, and more.

    Celebrate with a Plan

    • Remember that it is never okay to drink and ride. Even if you’ve only had one alcoholic beverage, designate a sober rider or make a plan to store your motorcycle safely and use another form of transportation to get home safely.
    • Drivers are encouraged to download the Designated Driver VIP, or “DDVIP,” free mobile app for Android or iPhone. The DDVIP app helps find nearby bars and restaurants that feature free incentives for the designated sober driver, from free non-alcoholic drinks to free appetizers and more. The feature-packed app even has social media tie-ins and even a tab for the non-DD to call Uber, Lyft or Curb.
    • If you see a drunk driver or motorcyclist on the road, contact call 911.
    • Have a friend who is about to drink and ride? Take the keys away and make arrangements to get your friend home safely.

    News Riders are urged to get basic training through the California Motorcyclist Safety Program. Information and training locations are available at http://www.californiamotorcyclist.com/ or 1-877 RIDE 411 (1-877-743-3411).

    More information about motorcycle safety can be found at: www.nhtsa.gov/Safety/Motorcycles

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