Bakersfield police will be conducting a specialized Motorcycle Safety Enforcement Operation Friday in an effort to continue lowering motorcycle-related deaths and injuries.

Extra officers will be on duty patrolling areas frequented by motorcyclists and where motorcycle crashes occur. Officers will be looking for drivers and riders who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol and cracking down on traffic violations made by all motorists.

California collision data reveals that primary causes of motorcycle-involved crashes include speeding, unsafe turning and impairment due to alcohol and other drugs.

Riders can get training through the California Motorcyclist Safety Program. Information and training locations are available at or 1-877 RIDE 411 or 1-877-743-3411.

The following are tips for drivers to help keep motorcyclists safe on our roadways:

* Always check mirrors and blind spots before entering or leaving a lane of traffic and at intersections, and always signal.

* Allow more following distance, three or four seconds, when behind a motorcycle so the motorcyclist has enough time to maneuver or stop in an emergency.

* Never drive while distracted.

Motorcyclists can increase their safety by doing the following:

* Positioning themselves in the lane where they will be most visible to other drivers, and never ride while impaired.

* Wear a DOT-compliant helmet and use turn signals.

* Avoiding riding in poor weather conditions, and wear brightly-colored protective gear.

* Use reflective tape and stickers, and safely share the road.

- Bakersfield Police Department