RIVERSIDE (CBS) — Taking an unsafe turn on your Harley? You better be prepared to pay up.

The California Highway Patrol is set to launch a crackdown targeting traffic violations by motorcycle riders on the Ortega Highway in Riverside County, the CHP announced Monday.

From April through the end of September, the CHP’s Temecula office will ramp up patrols on a 33-mile stretch of state Route 74 to catch unsafe motorcyclists, according to Officer Ron Thatcher.

A National Highway Traffic Safety Administration “Motorcycle Safety Coalitions” grant will provide the funds necessary for overtime and special operations geared to motorcycle riders, Thatcher said.

CHP data from January 2007 to December 2008 indicate there were 75 motorcycle collisions from where the Ortega Highway begins in San Juan Capistrano to Green Avenue in southwest Riverside County.

Twenty-five of the accidents resulted in injuries, and all were connected to speeding.

“Taking a turn too fast, a motorcyclist is likely to find himself in over his head,” said Capt. Ernie Sanchez, commander of the agency’s Temecula office.

“This stretch of highway demands concentration and caution on the part of the rider,” he said. “With this grant, we’re hoping to not only raise awareness and educate motorcyclists, but ultimately save lives and reduce the number of riders injured every year.”

The Temecula CHP will coordinate with local law enforcement agencies to conduct enforcement operations and advance public awareness efforts, according to Thatcher.

(©2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

Comments (43)
  1. krg says:

    Wonder why the “journalist” chose to single out Harley riders. The kids on the super fast racing bikes are way more dangerous and I see them do a lot more illegal moves than the guys on Harleys.

    1. tigerblood says:

      it’s not about safety. it’s about money. the california budget. they’ll be cutting back on chp, cops, and fire. back off, guv brown. dumping your pathetic ass was the smartest thing linda rhondstat ever did.

  2. Anon says:

    I’m not sure this safety crackdown is directed at Harley riders, but instead at sport bike riders too cheap to hit a track. All motorcycles use the dynamics of leaning into a corner—although exhilarating, sport bikes provide the capacity to do it at a greater rate of speed. This leaves little room for error and multiplies the probability of an accident. Instead of wasting the man hours and resources needed to patrol this highway, why not just have Caltrans put in speed bumps? That would ensure that ALL motorists comply with the speed limits year round without having highway patrol babysit the highway during peak riding season. The engineering survey are going to have to be updated anyways, otherwise a savvy rider can just have it tossed out in court. Speed bumps solve this.

    1. Mac says:

      Speed bumps on a road that is traveled by thousands of vehicles a day (commuters) is just asking for lawsuits against the state for vehicle damage.

  3. FatBoy Matt says:

    It’s seems funny that the CHP needs special funding to do there job. Maybe they are waiting for special funding to enforce the laws related to driving while talking on your cell phone. There is no shortage of violators (idiots) there. Think of the revinue that would be generated, not to mention improved safety on our roads.

  4. Lenny Fisher says:

    I aggree with Fat Bioy, I am sure that many of those accidents involved a motorist that was talking on phone. And bet ya that there are many more accidents caused from cell phones,How bout some help there CHP?

    1. Duh! says:

      Have you ever driven on Ortega Highway?
      Cell phone coverage sucks, so I don’t think many motorists are talking on cell phones.

      1. Mac says:

        Good point.

  5. Sonny B says:

    They really just aim to pull over members of certain ‘clubs’, I’d say particularly
    Angels,Vagos and Mongols

    1. DB says:

      You’re RIGHT, the part that says: “The Temecula CHP will coordinate with local law enforcement agencies to conduct enforcement operations”
      is the clincher

    2. Dresser Bill says:

      Are you the same “Sonny B” I knew in San Diego, 20 years ago?

  6. Old Yeller says:

    bak in my day sonny.. when we fell off our horses, it was our problem and nobody elses. No vigilante sheriff trackin us down.

  7. BikeRider says:

    What they didn’t specifically say is out of the 75 accidents, how many were deemed the fault of the motorcyclist?! It would seem to me that this would be a big factor in WHO they target on that stretch of highway. it drives me nuts when people don’t give motorcycles (or bicycles) the room they need on the road! Equally important is safe riding, I realize… But let’s get all the facts here..

  8. drozone69 says:

    Seems like that money could be better spent on getting our economy rolling again.Goverment doesnt have money to keep parks and library’s open.But they shure do have money for overtime and harrassing clean fuel vehicles.

  9. Slowpoke says:

    So…let’s see if I have this correct…

    We’re letting the state use OUR money to target a specific user group on the public road, after we’ve already paid our taxes (sales taxes, vehicle plate taxes, gas taxes) to go our and raise money by ticketing said specific user group.

    Don’t we have a severe budget shortfall going on? Is this really a constructive use of what little budget we have to keep our roads safe? How about targeting ALL speeding vehicles, + those without seatbelts, talking on cell phone, etc.?

    What a waste of my tax dollars.

  10. smart ass says:

    Last I checked females ride bikes too not just guys read article again

  11. krg says:

    The problem with catching people on cell phones is that they see the cop cars and drop the phones. I actually talked to a cop about that for quite a while one night and he told me how frustrating it is for him because they KNOW it’s a problem but as soon as someone sees them they’ll drop the phones into their laps or whatever before they can catch them. They actually do give out a lot of tickets for being on cell phones though.

  12. Fat Bob Rob says:

    You’re gonna see the cops sitting in the turnouts. Someone is going to come around a corner, be distracted by the sudden confrontation with the CHP, and lose it when they would otherwise safely negotiate the curve..

    1. DB says:

      That sure doesn’t look like a “Harly Rider” to me!

  13. Jeff says:

    Safety cannot be fined or legislated into existence; it needs to be learned which means it needs to be taught. Spending federal dollars on discriminatory motorcycle-only checkpoints is NOT going to make motorcycling any safer. OUR tax dollars should be spent on rider education and motorcycle awareness in order to prevent accidents from occurring in the first place.

    1. offramp says:

      Guess what? it is. THere has been money from the same source to train riders through the MSF for more than five years. Nearly hallf a million have been through it. Oh yeah, and safety CAN be fined and legislated. The helmet law saved over 300 lives in CA last year and over 5000 serious head injuries. Seat belt laws have saved over 800 lives last year.

      1. Bill of Rights says:

        That is parroting government propaganda, offramp. Better wear your helmet in the shower, just in case. If they outlaw motorcycles altogether, how many more lives would be saved? How ’bout letting the government just control everybody’s accelerators. Nothing to worry about then. You could even talk aon your cell phone if your wheel and pedal were Big Brother controlled.

    2. offramp says:

      I forgot to add, there are no motorcycle only checkpoints. There are DUI Checkpoints that everyone goes through. There are special enforcements aimed at both MC and cars where infractions that could be detrimental to MC safety are targeted. But there are no MC only checkpoints.

      1. Mac says:

        Hate to tell ya but they had one on Ortega last year. Motorcycles only. Towed a fair share too.

      2. offramp says:

        Mac,
        When and where? CHP or local? DId they set up cones and waved eveyone but MC’s through? How was it run? I

      3. Mac says:

        Dang…hit the wrong button. It was last summer. I belong to two sport bike groups totaling over 2000 members. Many saw the block. Many were caught in it. It was MC only. They went for very specific things like license, insurance, and plate tags. I’ll see if I can dig it up…

      4. Mac says:

        OK…it was Labor Day Weekend in ’09: http://www.ocmoto.com/index.php?topic=18712.0
        I can’t post the link to the thread in my group because it is set to private.

      5. Mac says:

        Well, here we go again…I think Ortega is officially off my list this summer.
        http://www.swrnn.com/southwest-riverside/2011-03-21/news/chp-motorcycle-crackdown-to-begin-on-ortega-highway

  14. bugman says:

    Fat Bob Rob , you are so correct! I’ve seen it happen .I’m 63 and ride a harley,I rode the ortega at 16, bikes were fast then,but today,people are to gutsy.

  15. drozone69 says:

    To Jeff,That is why they are funding this and not education.There is no money in education for the penal system.

  16. WEED says:

    Riding the Ortega hwy takes a lot of concentration no matter what you are riding, sportbike or harley. I know I’ve done both. You see a whole lot of novice riders taking on the hwy that shouldnt be there yet. I dont feel any infringement of my rights. Something has to be done on this particular road to decrease the deaths and accidents of motorcyclists

    1. Bill of Rights says:

      Weed, Decrease the deaths & accidents to what level? They say “follow the money.” If the death # went to zero, there would still be money to “collect” from harrassment style enforcement. It amazes me riders themselves don’t see abuse of their own Rights when it targets them. If they are that dense they deserve to have their Rights and money taken. BOLTofCA.com shows how to stand up to, and stop, unconstitutional enforcement. They are the ones who got the CHP to admit “the helmet law is practically unenforceable.”

  17. LRN2RIDE says:

    If you look at the video the rider grabs a handful of front brake as soon as he sees the CHP car. Big NO NO, thats why he went down, but then again maybe he wouldnt have gone down if the CHP wasnt there.

    1. offramp says:

      And then again, he wouldn’t have cared if the CHP was there if he hadn’t been speeding. And the camera wouldn’t have been there if there wasn’t a semi-organized canyon speed fest. And CHP wouldn’t have been there if there wasn’t a speed fest.

  18. G-Man says:

    They did the Same exact thing LY in Malibu. It is quite simply a Cash Cow. There is a Motorcycle Cop than literally hung out at the bottom of PCH at the Chevron and wrote 2 books of tickets a morning.

    Regarding the Harley Vs. Sport Bike BS going on here. Really?? I ride Sportbikes, but think the Harley a freaking cool looking too .. just not my style. Also … crashes don’t discriminate .. happen to all types

  19. vf6cruiser says:

    IMO the CHP will never forget the officer that was gunned down by a biker on this highway, and as such will continue to rain down tickets and retribution on it forever.

  20. LA's the place says:

    So the writer of this article thinks only those people riding Harley’s are violators? Open your eyes pal, there are PLENTY of riders on Hondas and Suzukis whirling around corners of Mulholland drive at over 100mph in MY lane all the time. Is that safe? A good percentage of them end up eating dust or causing an accident. You better do more research before you accuse Harley riders of being at fault for violating motorcycle safety laws YOU JERK

  21. Elsi-snorian says:

    I live at the bottom of the Ortega Highway on the Riverside Co side. I commute the highway by car every day to the Orange Co side. Ive been doing this for over 20 years, Tonight, once again, for the 100-th -plus time, I sat for hours due to a motorcycle accident scene. In my family we call these motorcycles of the Otega Highway “donor-moblies.” Deal with it. There are speed laws, unrefutable laws of physics. human kniesiology, and mechanics laws. . Push the envelope of any of these, …and you will die on the Ortega Highway, and I will be late for dinner once again.

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