Ocala Police Department receives Motorcycle Safety grant

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MARION COUNTY, Fla. (WCJB) -- The Ocala Police Department is asking for drivers to look twice for motorcycles.

Officers are launching a program to monitor busy roads this summer to try and prevent motorcycle and vehicle crashes.

Officers responded to 59 motorcycle and vehicle crashes alone in 2018, and in 2019 there have already been 47 crashes.

With the Ocala Police Department Motorcycle Safety Program Project funded by the Florida Department of Transportation, OPD is able to monitor heavily traveled roads to promote driver safety.

This grant allows officers to receive overtime pay when patrolling outside of their normal shift.

"Our goal is not to come out here and try to raise revenue from citations, it's, more importantly, educating the public on the right and the wrong of motorcycle riding,” said Sgt. Eric Hooper with OPD’s Traffic Unit.

This is a $27,000 dollar grant.

State Route 40, State Route 464, State Route 200, and US 441/301 are all roads that will be monitored.

This grant is set to expire in September but officers are hopeful the grant will be renewed for another year.