The Santa Monica Police Department will take part in a bicycle and pedestrian safety enforcement operation aimed at educating bicyclists, drivers, and pedestrians on traffic laws, rules and responsibilities.
For the month of May, Santa Monica Police officers will be looking for violations made by bicyclists, drivers and pedestrians that put roadway users at risk. These violations include drivers speeding, making illegal turns, failing to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks, failing to stop for signs and signals or any other dangerous violation.
Officers will also look for pedestrians who cross the street illegally or fail to yield to drivers who have the right of way. Bike riders will be stopped when riding on the wrong side of the road, not complying with stop signs and signals, or other violation of the same traffic laws that apply to them as drivers.
Field enforcement operations are scheduled for Monday May 5, from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m and Thursday May 9, from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. More operations will occur throughout the month.
People walking should only cross the street using crosswalks or intersections, preferably with a stop sign or signal. People on foot should also look for cars backing up and avoid darting between parked cars, make eye contact with drivers and wear bright clothing during the day and reflective materials or use a flashlight at night.
Drivers should wait for pedestrians to cross the street, avoid distractions like using a cell phone, and be courteous and patient. All bike riders are reminded to always wear a helmet; helmets are required by law for those under 18. Bike riders should always go with the flow of traffic, let faster traffic pass and use hand signals when turning or stopping.
Funding for this program is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Submitted by Lieutenant Candice Cobarrubias