Bike and Pedestrian Safety Main Focus for Santa Monica Police in July

091209-N-4776G-041Many Southern Californians are looking to avoid congested traffic by riding bikes and walking whenever possible. However, being a small fish among a huge pool of motorists can be quite daunting – and dangerous, to say the least. Fortunately, police in Santa Monica are aiming to help pedestrians and bicycle riders feel more at ease when traversing the roadways by stepping up patrols during the month of July.

The Santa Monica Police Department will be out-and-about on the most dangerous portions of the roadways, to help prevent serious accidents. Police officers will be looking for motorists who aren’t upholding their duty to share the road with others. In particular, officers will be looking for motorists who are speeding, making illegal turns or lane changes, not following traffic signs and signals and failing to yield to pedestrians.

But motorists aren’t the only ones who need to follow the rules of the roads. By the same

token, pedestrians and bicycle riders will also be ticketed if they fail to follow traffic laws. For example, pedestrians will be cited for jaywalking and bicyclists will be ticketed for running red lights. Riders under age 18 must wear helmets, while helmets for adults are not required but recommended. Pedestrians should only cross roads in marked crosswalks. Officers will be patrolling various areas on certain days and times. Operations will take place July 22, 24, 27 and 29 from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.

As more and more Santa Monica residents switch to walking and bike riding, the number of accidents involving these demographics continues to rise. In the last three years, the city has had 874 serious collisions involving pedestrian and bicyclists. Each of the 874 accidents resulted in serious injury or death. Between 2002 and 2009, bike accidents in Santa Monica increased by 51%. In two years alone – between 2007 and 2009 – the increase was 78%. On a positive note, the number of accidents involving pedestrians and motorists dropped 21% between 2002 and 2009.

It is hopeful that this program, funded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, will do a lot to improve traffic safety for motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists alike. The goal is to prevent serious accidents and injuries before they happen. By patrolling problem areas and citing drivers for dangerous activities, officers can keep bike riders and pedestrians safe as they do their part to go green and reduce pollution in the area.

Nadrich & Cohen, LLP have been representing bicycle accident victims throughout California for over 25 years. We applaud the efforts of the Santa Monica Police Department, to make city streets safer for all.

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