SANTA MONICA—The Santa Monica Police Department is conducting a Bike & Pedestrian Safety Enforcement Operation with focused enforcement efforts on primary collision factors involving motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists.
The Police Department identifies locations where pedestrian and bike collisions are prevalent, along with the violations that led to those collisions. Traffic officers will be on duty patrolling areas where bike and pedestrian traffic and collisions occur in an effort to reduce deaths and injuries.
Officers will be looking for violations committed by drivers, bike riders and pedestrians alike that can lead to life changing injuries. Violations include speeding, making illegal turns, failing to yield or provide right of way to bicyclists or pedestrians, or failing to stop for signs and signals.
The extra enforcement efforts will take place on Thursday, January 4 between the hours of 6 a.m. and 9 p.m.
“We all have places to be and not everyone gets there by car. Bicyclists and pedestrians have the same rights to the road but face even more risk without the protections vehicles have. We should all be looking out for one another,” the SMPD stated.
Pedestrians· Be predictable. Use crosswalks, when available.· Take notice of approaching vehicles and practice due care.· Do not walk or run into the path of a vehicle. At 30 mph, a driver needs at least 90 feet to stop.· Be visible. Make it easy for drivers to see you – wear light colors, reflective material and carry a flashlight, particularly at dawn, dusk or at night.· Be extra careful crossing streets or entering crosswalks at night when it is harder to see, or when crossing busier streets with more lanes and higher speed limits. Drivers· Follow the speed limit and slow down at intersections. Be prepared to stop for pedestrians at marked and unmarked crosswalks.· Avoid blocking crosswalks while waiting to make a right-hand turn.· Never drive impaired.
Bicyclists· Obey traffic laws, use hand signals, use lights at night (front white light and rear red reflector), and wear a helmet.· Bicyclists must travel in the same direction of traffic and have the same requirements as any slow-moving vehicle.· Avoid the door zone: do not ride too closely to parked cars.· If there’s a bike lane, use it, unless making a left turn, passing, or approaching a place where a right turn is allowed.· Yield to pedestrians. Bicyclists must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians within marked crosswalks or within unmarked crosswalks at intersections.
Funding for the program is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.Photo by Gunnar Madlung.