SANTA MONICA—On Wednesday, September 16, the Santa Monica Police Department will conduct Bike & Pedestrian and Motorcycle Safety Enforcement Operations that will focus on improving safe driving and riding practices of the city. Both programs will take place during the busy traffic hours of 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
According to the press release issued by SMPD Chief of Police Jacqueline Seabrook, the department will focus their efforts on locations throughout the city where such collisions between vehicles and pedestrians, bicycles, and motorcycles are frequent.
The SMPD will place additional traffic officers in these areas to be on the look-out for road safety violations. The officers will be on high-alert for drivers that are speeding, fail to use turn signals, or commit any other infraction that could contribute to these collisions.
Bicyclists, pedestrians and motorcyclists will also be cited for any reckless actions on their part, such as jaywalking and swerving dangerously in and out of lanes.
The SMPD is implementing the program in response to the recent increase in traffic collisions involving these groups of individuals. According to data provided by the department, the number of motorcycle collisions that lead to injuries or deaths in the city saw a 37 percent decrease from 2008 to 2010, but had a 23 percent increase in 2012.
SMPD urges all bicycle and motorcycle riders to wear a helmet, preferably one that is compliant with the standards set by the Department of Transportation. Under California law, all riders under the age of 18 are required to wear a helmet.
Both programs to be conducted are funded by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The department also urges motorcycle riders to receive training through the California Motorcyclist Safety Program at one of their locations. More information and a list of training locations is available at http://www.californiamotorcyclist.com/ or at the number 1-877 RIDE 411 (1-877-743-3411).