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Santa Monica Police to Focus on Pedestrian, Bicycle Safety

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By Lookout Staff

January 4, 2018 -- With the number of fatal pedestrian incidents reaching an all-time high last year, Santa Monica police will hold the year's first Bike and Pedestrian Safety Enforcement Operations Friday and Monday.

The operations, which take place from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., focus on "violations by drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians that can potentially lead to life altering injuries," a Police Department statement said.

"The Police Department periodically identifies locations where bike and pedestrian collisions are prevalent, along with the violations that led to those collisions.

"In an effort to lower deaths and injuries, officers will be on duty patrolling areas where bike and pedestrian traffic collisions occur," the statement said.

Traffic officers will be on the lookout for drivers speeding, making illegal turns, failing to stop for signs and signals, failing to yield to pedestrians in cross walks and similar "dangerous violations," police said.

The enforcement also will focus on "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 at corners, police said..

Bicyclists -- who must follow similar traffic laws as motorists -- are encouraged to always wear a helmet. Those under 18 years of age must wear helmets by law.

Eight pedestrians were killed in the beach city last year ("Eighth Pedestrian Killed This Year in Santa Monica," November 21, 2017).

Alarmed by the already growing fatalities the City Council in May ordered faster action on a sweeping re-design of city streets to enhance pedestrian safety and carved a post for a Safe Streets "Czar" ("Santa Monica City Council Calls for Safe Streets 'Czar,'" May 11, 2017).

Funding for the Bike and Pedestrian Safety Enforcement Operations is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.



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