SANTA MONICA—On Friday, March 6 the Santa Monica Police Department (SMPD) will improve Bike & Pedestrian Safety Enforcement Operations with their focus on collision factors involving motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists.

The SMPD has gathered locations over the past five years where pedestrian and bike collisions are likely to occur. Additional officers will be guarding these areas in an effort to decrease the amount of deaths and injuries that occur.

The officers will pay close attention to drivers speeding, making illegal turns, ignoring signs and signals, failing to yield to pedestrians in cross walks and other similar dangerous violations.

Enforcement will be taken when pedestrians cross the street illegally or fail to yield to drivers who have the right of way. Citations will be issued to bicyclists who fail to follow the same traffic laws that apply to motorists.

All bike riders are reminded to wear helmets for their safety and those under 18 years of age must wear helmets by law. Pedestrians should only cross the street in marked crosswalks or at corners.

During the past three years, the SMPD has investigated a total of 874 fatal and injury collisions involving pedestrians and bicyclists locally.

The Governors Highway Safety Association’s and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 2012 Data reports reveal that California is the leading nation in bicycle and pedestrian deaths.