CHP increases motorcycle safety patrols on local freeways

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In honor of Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, the California Highway Patrol is stepping up enforcement on the Southern California freeways known for having the highest number of motorcycle crashes.

Dozens of motorcyclists congregated at a popular turnout along the Angeles Crest Highway on Monday.

"The general feeling of freedom that you feel, there's nothing else like it," said Garrett Leum, who made the 30-mile ride up from La Crescenta.

For many motorcyclists, Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start of summer riding season, and the California Highway Patrol is subsequently stepping up patrols in hopes of cutting down on fatalities.

"We want to make sure that all the riders are safe [and] they're doing what they're supposed to do," said Officer Juan Galvan of the CHP.

Galvan says May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month in California.

"Wear the appropriate riding gear: your helmet, your gloves, your boots, your pants, your jacket," he advised.

As part of Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, the CHP is stepping up patrols along the 110 and 405 freeways and along the Angeles Crest Highway -- roads which have the highest number of motorcycle crashes. Officers will focus on violations committed by both vehicle drivers and motorcyclists.

"As far as the drivers, it's the not looking when they're changing lanes, not looking out for motorcycle riders, just because they have such a smaller profile than vehicles," Galvan said.

Norunn Nygard has been riding motorcycles for 30 years.

"You've got to have situation awareness. You got to know what's behind you, what's in front of you, what's to your sides," Nygard said.

As for lane splitting, a new bill, which is currently under construction, would make it explicitly legal for motorcyclists to split lanes under certain conditions. But for now, the CHP says motorcyclists just need to use some common sense.

"As long as you do it reasonable and prudent, and you're cautious about it, you shouldn't have a problem with that," Galvan said.

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motorcyclesCHPcalifornia highway patrolI-110I-405safetytrafficLa CrescentaLos Angeles CountyCalifornia
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