SANTA MONICA—The Santa Monica Police Department will be on the lookout for traffic violations by motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, January 20 and Monday, January 23, as part of the Bike and Pedestrian Safety Enforcement Operations.
The field enforcement operations are scheduled to take place in areas which police department have identified as locations with high volume of bike and pedestrian collisions.
“Officers will be on the lookout for violations by drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians that can potentially lead to life altering injuries,” said Lt. Saul Rodriguez in a press release to Canyon News. “Special enforcement efforts will be directed towards drivers speeding, making illegal turns, failing to stop for signs and signals, failing to yield to pedestrians in cross walks and similar dangerous violations.”
Violations by pedestrians such as crossing the street illegally or failing to yield to drivers will also be closely scrutinized and observed.
“Bicyclists are encouraged to always wear a helmet; those under 18 years of age must wear helmets by law,” said Rodriguez. “Pedestrians should cross the street only in marked crosswalks or at corners.”
Bicyclists are required to follow traffic laws that apply to motorists and will be handed citations if they fail to do so.
The Bike and Pedestrian Safety program was launched on June 9, 2015 in light of the 874 people killed or injured in bike and pedestrian collisions in Santa Monica over the last 3 years.
Last June, SMPD Police Chief Jacqueline Seabrooks said in a report to the Santa Monica City Council that the force’s traffic section includes a lieutenant, a sergeant and 10 officers, eight of whom patrol the city on motorcycles and are responsible for traffic-related investigations, as well as 89 part-time and full-time service officers and crossing guards.
This Bike and Pedestrian Safety initiative is funded by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.