BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - Bakersfield Police are going to be out in force, watching out for dangers on the road. The program they're using to keep you and motorcycle riders safe.
The special safety enforcement is an operation aimed at reducing crashes involving motorcycles. Extra officers are being assigned to areas where the most accidents have been reported.
Last year, Bakersfield Police investigated close to 50 motorcycle crashes.
Karen Briefer-Gose uses her motorcycle to get around town.
"I just love the feeling of freedom it gives me. Its just a sensation unlike any other and I just love doing it," she said.
She started riding young and learned early on about the risks involved in operating a motorcycle.
"The most important thing is to make sure you're seen. don't assume a driver sees you. Always drive defensively," she said.
May is the start of a special enforcement project. More Bakersfield officers will be on patrol looking for drivers and riders who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, speeding, making illegal turns or any other dangerous violations.
"We have to be a good example. I think riders should be out there playing by the rules. Don't drive drunk. Dont' ride drunk," she said.
Bakersfield officers investigated 48 motorcycle collisions in 2012. 32 were injury collisions, 15 were non-injury related and only one was a fatality.
"People see like they're in so much of a hurry," said Kathi Briefer-Gose, who spent thirty years as a paramedic and saw many motorcycle crashes. She welcomes more patrol.
"I'd like to see them do it more than just once a year. It should be 24/7," she said.
State collision data shows motorcycle crashes include speeding and unsafe turns. Experts say learning how to operate a motorcycle before you get on is the key to staying alive.
"Don't buy your bike first and then take the class. Take the class first, try out different bikes. See which one is comfortable for you which one feels right for you because every bike is different," said Briefer-Gose.
The enforcement project begins Thursday, May 1st and runs through out the end of the month. May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.
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