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Santa Monica Police To Crack Down on Traffic Violations that Endanger Pedestrians, Bicyclists

Bob Kronovetrealty
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By Lookout Staff

February 14, 2019 -- Police will conduct operations on Friday and again on Monday to enforce traffic laws that help keep pedestrians and bicyclists safe.

The Bike and Pedestrian Safety Enforcement Operations will take place from 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on both days, police announced this week.

The effort will focus on those locations where police have found bike and pedestrian violations and collisions "that can potentially lead to life altering injuries" are prevalent, police said.

The officers will look for drivers who are "speeding, making illegal turns, failing to stop for signs and signals, failing to yield to pedestrians in cross walks and similar dangerous violations."

The officers also will look for "pedestrians (who) cross the street illegally or fail to yield to drivers who have the right of way" and bicyclists who fail to follow traffic laws "that also apply to motorists."

Pedestrians should cross the street only in marked crosswalks or at corners, police said.

Bicyclists are encouraged to always wear a helmet. Those under 18 years of age must wear helmets by law.

Making streets safe for walking and using alternate forms of transportation is one of the areas the City is focusing on this year, Mayor Gleam Davis said in her State of the City speech .

"We know traffic and pedestrian safety are problems that vex Santa Monicans," the mayor said.

"Solving traffic will require that we make public transit a better alternative to the personal auto and that we make our streets safer for other modes of transit such as walking."

Davis noted that there were no pedestrian fatalities last year, after eight pedestrians were killed in the beach city 2017 ("Eighth Pedestrian Killed This Year in Santa Monica," November 21, 2017).

She said the City "increased the visibility of our green lanes with vibrant paint and other improvements," adding that "this is not enough.

"In the future, we will continue to cultivate a culture of using transit, walking, and & biking amongst our youth and their parents through Safe Routes to School programming," Davis said.

The City also has embarked on a sweeping re-design of city streets to enhance pedestrian safety and carved a post for a Safe Streets "Czar" ("Santa Monica City Council Calls for Safe Streets 'Czar,'" May 11, 2017).

Funding for the Bike and Pedestrian Safety Enforcement Operations is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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