April Traffic Safety Information
During the month of April 2013, officers from the La Porte Police Department investigated 43 property damage and 9 personal injury crashes with two of the crashes being alcohol related. In April 2012 officers investigated 44 property and 12 personal crashes with one of the crashes being alcohol related.
Officers participated in 28.5 hours of seat belt patrols funded by the La Porte Police Department’s Operation Pull Over grant during the month of April. During these patrols officers wrote 55 citations and 45 warnings including 48 citations for seat belt violations. The Operation Pull Over grant program is funded by federal highway safety dollars and is administered by the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute.
May Enforcement Plans
Operation Pull Over Blitz #75
The La Porte Police Department will be participating in Operation Pull Over Blitz #75 which runs from May 17 through June 2. During this period, which encompasses Memorial Day weekend, officers will participate in 110 hours of seat belt patrols and will be otherwise doing what they can to promote traffic safety during this traditionally relatively dangerous holiday weekend.
Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month
May is also Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month and the La Porte Police Department will be working hard to make sure that all citizens who travel our streets, whether they use two or four wheeled vehicles, can do so in as safe a manner as possible.
Officers will be targeting drivers who seem to lack awareness of the two wheeled vehicles that they share the road with as a majority of four wheeled vehicle versus two wheeled vehicles crashes are caused by lack of awareness on the driver of the four wheeled vehicle. Here are some reasons that the Motorcycle Safety Foundation cites why this lack of awareness occurs as well as some ways that motorists can share the streets with motorcyclists more safely:
• Reasons why lack of awareness occurs.
o “Motorcyclists and their riders are a relatively small component of the total traffic mix. Therefore their presence is often overlooked.
o Many drivers do not anticipate routine encounters with motorcyclists in traffic.
• Ways that motorists and motorcyclists can share the streets more safely.
o “Motorists should be more aware of motorcycles and take more care to identify and acknowledge their presence. Motorists should avoid distractions and compensate for visual obstructions.
o Motorcyclists should increase their conspicuity through utilizing proper lane position, riding with headlights on during the daytime and wearing brightly colored and retro reflective apparel.”
Another factor that affects motorcycle safety is the fact that many riders involved in motorcycle crashes are not properly licensed and/or trained. The proportion of motorcyclists that are licensed and involved in all types of crashes in Indiana is just over 50% and that number declines significantly in the younger age groups. The La Porte Police Department supports motorcycle rider training and education and strongly encourages any new riders to attend a rider training program and the more experienced riders to attend refresher or more advanced training periodically.
Officers have been directed to address any motorcycle licensing violations aggressively, including juveniles that are operating mopeds and committing traffic violations. Additional information on motorcycle safety, and other crime and traffic safety issues, can be found on the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute’s web site at http://www.in.gov/cji/.