Riverside County sheriff’s deputies will be stepping up enforcement of infractions connected to motorcycle riding in the ensuing weeks, using targeted patrols and other efforts to highlight “Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.”

According to sheriff’s officials, extra deployments are planned in Eastvale, Jurupa Valley, Moreno Valley, Norco, Rancho Mirage and Temecula, with patrol deputies watching motorcyclists for unsafe driving, as well as watching motorists who share the road with them but drive in ways that increase risks for the two-wheelers.

“It’s important for drivers to be aware of motorcyclists in traffic and drive safely around them,” Temecula-based sheriff’s Sgt. Bill Pratt said. “Motorcycle riders are more vulnerable without the protection of a car surrounding them, which is why drivers must be mindful of those on two wheels.”

According to the California Office of Traffic Safety, riders are 28 times more likely to be killed in a crash than their counterparts in cars. In 2019, the latest year for which statistics are available, 474 motorcyclists died on California roads.

OTS said there are close to 900,000 motorcycles registered statewide.

Deputies at the various stations will be dedicating different shifts to increased patrols targeting unsafe riders and drivers who put them in jeopardy on urban streets, as well as outlying roads, according to sheriff’s officials.

OTS published the following safety tips for motorcyclists:

— always wear a helmet;

— wear protective clothing and, if possible, reflective gear that raises the rider’s visibility;

— ride defensively, avoiding other drivers’ blind spots; and

— keep the bike’s lights on at all times, including the middle of the day.

Car operators were reminded to always look for bikers who may be white-lining or lane-splitting in traffic, as well to give motorcyclists sufficient space and remember they’re entitled to the full width of lanes just like cars.

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