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California makes motorcycle awareness a priority

According to an October press release from the California Highway Patrol, the number of motorcycle accident victims increased by nine percent from 2015 to 2016. With more than 1.4 million licensed motorcyclists on California roads on any given day, this comes as no surprise. However, though the numbers may not be shocking, they have prompted the CHP to begin looking for ways to increase motorcycle safety and decrease accidents and fatalities.

One way in which the CHP plans to increase motorcycle safety is via the program. Per GEARS objectives, the CHP plans to deploy officers on enhanced motorcycle safety enforcement operations in areas that see a significant number of motorcycle incidences. The GEARS campaign will last for a full year, during which the organization plans to employ a number of smaller, monthly campaigns, including the "May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month." The campaigns will focus on informing riders and motor vehicle operators alike of proper driving etiquette as well as the dangers of speeding, improper turning, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol and committing traffic violations. They will also promote the importance of road sharing and wearing proper motorcycle safety equipment.

To help promote the GEARS campaign, the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration granted the CHP additional funding. According to CityBike, the administration granted the CHP an additional $625,000 on top of what it granted the organization in recent years. In the coming months, the CHP plans to release to the public information on how it intends to use the funds or, more specifically, how it plans to allocate the funds between education and enforcement. 

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