SANTA MONICA — During the month of February, motor officers of the Santa Monica Police Department’s (SMPD) Traffic Enforcement Unit will focus on individuals who fail to stop at stop signs and red lights. This is part of a series in which each month, the SMPD emphasizes a different problematic driving behavior that causes car accidents.

According to the California Vehicle Code Section 22540, these are the requirements for stopping: first, all drivers must stop at the limit line or crosswalk if he or she sees a stop sign at the entrance of an intersection. The driver must stop before driving over the nearest crosswalk of an intersection. Even if there is no crosswalk or limit, the driver must still stop at the intersection entrance.

Secondly, if there is a stop sign at a railroad grade crossing, the driver must stop at the limit line and if there is no limit line, he or she must stop before the first track or entrance to the railroad crossing. The third requirement allows for local authorities to place stop signs wherever necessary. “Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a local authority may adopt rules and regulations by ordinance or resolution providing for the placement of a stop sign at any location on a highway under its jurisdiction where the stop sign would enhance traffic safety,” according to Section 22450.

All of these policies pertain to bicyclists as well. For more information, contact Sergeant Phillbo Rubish at the SMPD’s Traffic Enforcement Section at 310-458-8950 or Lieutenant Jay Trisler at 310-458-8471.