San Diego Police Department will be conducting a bicycle and pedestrian safety enforcement operations on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. with focused enforcement on collision causing factors involving motorists, bicyclist and pedestrians.
Routine traffic patrols will focus efforts in trouble spots while special targeted patrols will also be deployed to crackdown on drivers and pedestrians who violate traffic laws meant to protect all roadway users.
The department has mapped out locations over the past 3 years where pedestrian and bicycle involved collisions have occurred along with the violations that led to those crashes. Officers will be looking for traffic offenses made by drivers, bicyclist and pedestrians alike that can lead to life changing injuries.
Special attention will be directed toward drivers speeding, making illegal turns, failing to stop for signs and signals, failing to yield to pedestrians in cross walks or any other dangerous violation. Additionally, enforcement will be taken for observed violations when pedestrians cross the street illegally or fail to yield to drivers who have the right of way. Pedestrians should cross the street only in marked crosswalks or intersections.
Pedestrian fatalities are rising in California as more people use non-motorized means of transportation. Locally, the San Diego Police Department has investigated 1000s of fatal and injury collisions involving bBicyclist and pedestrians during the past 3 years. In 2013, California witnessed 701 pedestrian deaths accounting for more than 23 percent of all roadway fatalities, much higher than the national average of 15 percent.
A national study reveals that pedestrians and drivers do not obey laws and signals consistently and many often use cell phones, text and listen to music while walking or driving. Only 60 percent of pedestrians said they expected drivers to stop when they were in crosswalks, even though they have the right-of-way.
The following safety tips can save lives and stop this tragedy witnessed far too often:
– Look out for bicyclist and pedestrians, especially in hard-to-see conditions such as at night or in bad weather.
– Slow down and be prepared to stop when turning or entering a crosswalk where pedestrians are likely to be.
– Stop at the crosswalk stop line to give drivers in other lanes an opportunity to see and yield to the pedestrians too.
– Be cautious when backing up – pedestrians, especially young children, can move across your path – ‘Share the road’ with bicyclists.
– Be courteous; California law now mandates at least 3 feet of clearance when passing a bike riders.
– Look for cyclists before opening a car door or pulling out from a parking space.
– Yield to cyclists at intersections and as directed by signs and signals.
– Be especially watchful for riders when making turns, either left or right.
– Wear properly fitted bicycle helmets every time they ride. If under 18 years of age, it’s the law.
– A helmet is the single most effective way to prevent head injury resulting from a bicycle crash.
– Riders are considered vehicle operators; they are required to obey the same rules of the road as other vehicle operators, including obeying traffic signs, signals, and lane markings.
– When cycling in the street, cyclists must ride in the same direction as traffic.
– Bicyclists should increase their visibility to drivers by wearing fluorescent or brightly colored clothing during the day, and at dawn and dusk.
– To be noticed when riding at night, the law requires a front light and a red reflector to the rear.
– For additional safety, use a flashing rear light, and use retro-reflective tape or markings on equipment or clothing.
– Be predictable. Follow the rules of the road, cross at crosswalks or intersections, and obey signs and signals.
– Walk facing traffic and as far from traffic as possible if there is no sidewalk.
– Pay attention to the traffic moving around you. This is not the time to be texting or talking on a cell phone.
– Make eye contact with drivers as they approach. Never assume a driver sees you.
– Wear bright clothing during the day and reflective materials (or use a flashlight) at night.
– Look left-right-left before crossing a street.
Funding for this program is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
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