Fountain Valley police officers will sit astride department motorcycles for the first time in 14 years today as the city resurrects its disbanded motorcycle patrol.
A sergeant and two officers will start focusing on traffic enforcement, with another officer joining them in September after training with the California Highway Patrol in Sacramento.
Police Chief Elvin G. Miali set several goals to gauge the effectiveness of the motorcycle patrols, including:
* A 10% drop in injury accidents and hit-and-run crashes in two years.
* A 20% drop in alcohol-related crashes in two years.
* A 20% increase in the number of vehicles impounded from drivers with suspended licenses or no licenses.
* A 4% increase in seat-belt and child-safety-seat compliance in the first year.
The decision to revive motorcycle patrols came at the recommendation of the University of California Institute of Transportation Studies. An October 1996 analysis said Fountain Valley could increase its traffic safety by using motorcycle patrols.
Though Fountain Valley has fewer accidents involving fatalities and injuries than other cities its size, residents are still four times more likely to be killed in a car crash than in a crime, the Police Department reported.
A $104,580 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety helped pay for the motorcycles, training, a new mobile radar trailer and four laser-radar units.