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Santa Monica Police to Enforce Bike, Pedestrian Safety

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By Lookout Staff

November 19, 2014 -- The Santa Monica Police Department (SMPD) next week will focus its enforcement efforts on violations that cause collisions involving motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists.

The SMPD has mapped out locations over the past five years where pedestrian and bike collisions are the worst, along with the violations that led to those collisions, according to police spokesman Rudy Camarena.  

Starting Monday, November 24, 2014 extra officers will be on duty patrolling areas where bike and pedestrian traffic and collisions occur in an effort to lower deaths and injuries. 

“Officers will be looking for violations engaged by drivers, bike riders and pedestrians alike that can lead to life changing injuries,” said Camarena.

“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.”

Officers will also be on the lookout for pedestrians who cross the street illegally or fail to yield to drivers who have the right of way. 

Bike riders will be stopped and cited after failing to follow the same traffic laws that apply to motorists.

“All riders are reminded to always wear a helmet; those under 18 years of age must wear helmets by law,” said Camarena.  “Pedestrians should cross the street only in marked crosswalks or at corners.”

Locally, the Santa Monica Police Department has investigated 874 fatal and injury collisions involving pedestrians and bicyclists during the past three years.

The Governors Highway Safety Association's and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 2012 Data reports show that California leads the nation in bicycle and pedestrian deaths.  

In 2012, 612 pedestrian and 124 bicyclists were killed in California. That same year 4,743 pedestrians and 726 bicyclists were killed nationwide. 

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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