Santa Monica Lookout
|Santa Monica Police to Enforce Bicycle, Pedestrian Laws|
By Lookout Staff
August 20, 2015 -- As Santa Monica revs up LA County’s first Bike Share program, local police hope to make the streets safer for bicyclists and pedestrians with another enforcement operation, police officials said.
Bike & Pedestrian Safety Enforcement Operations will take place on Thursday, August 20 and Saturday, August 22 between 6 a.m. and 4 p.m. focus on “primary collision factors involving motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists,” police officials said.
“Officers will be looking for violations engaged in by drivers, bike riders and pedestrians alike that can lead to life changing injuries,” said Sgt. Rudy Camarena, the Police Department spokesman.
“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 and similar dangerous violations,” Camarena said.
The operation comes as the City rolls out its Breeze Ride Share Program for a month-long test run that started August 13.
Once the program is in full swing next year, some 500 bicycles, which will be made available to rent at 65 to 75 stations scattered around the City – will be sharing the road, City officials said.
The new Bike Share program is a cornerstone of the City’s efforts to encourage alternate modes of transportation to take cars off of the City’s often congested streets.
That effort received a boost last month when the City was awarded $1.25 million in a trio of grants to fund programs that encourage biking and walking. The grants will help pay for pedestrian and bicycling improvements near the future Expo Light Rail Terminal Downtown.
The grants also will allow the City to expand its Safe Routes to School Program, aimed at encouraging families to bike and walk to school.
During its enforcement operations, the Police Department “identifies locations where pedestrian and bike collisions are prevalent, along with the violations that led to those collisions,” Camarena said.
Police also will be on the lookout for pedestrians crossing the street illegally or failing to yield to drivers who have the right of way, Camarena said. Bicyclists will be cited when they fail to follow the same traffic laws that apply to motorists.
Bike riders should always wear helmets, and those under 18 must wear helmets by law, police officials said. Pedestrians should cross the street only in marked crosswalks or at corners.
Funding for the enforcement operation is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
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