Each month, the Santa Monica Police Department’s Traffic Enforcement Unit focuses on different driving behaviors that are the primary causes for traffic collisions. For the month of December, motor officers, in addition to their normal duties, will focus on bicyclists who fail to follow the rules of the road.

California Vehicle Code Section 21200 identifies laws applicable to bicycles:

“A person riding a bicycle or operating a pedicab upon a highway has all the rights and is subject to all the provisions applicable to the driver of a vehicle.”

From Jan. 1, 2012 through Nov. 22, 2012 the Santa Monica Police Department has investigated 129 collisions involving bicycles. In a majority of these collisions, the bicyclist was determined to not be at fault for the accident. However, when bicyclists have been found to be at fault, the common causes have ranged from failure to stop at traffic signals and stop signs, failure to ride upon the right-side of the roadway, unsafe turning movements, riding under the influence and unsafe speed.

Bicycle Liaison Officer Peter Lashley wants to remind all bicycle riders that rules of the road pertain to bicycle riders also. Further, bicyclists are not permitted to ride upon any sidewalk in the city of Santa Monica and doing so is a violation of the city’s municipal code.

For more information, contact Sgt. Phillbo Rubish with the SMPD’s Traffic Division at (310) 458-8950.

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