Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Operation Planned for San Marcos

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The San Diego Sheriff’s Department will take part in a motorcycle, bicycle and pedestrian safety enforcement operation aimed at educating motorcyclists, bicyclists, drivers and pedestrians on traffic laws, rules and responsibilities.

On May 25, 2019 between 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM, deputies will be looking for violations made by motorcyclists, 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.

Deputies will also look for pedestrians who cross the street illegally or fail to yield to drivers who have the right of way. Bicycle 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.

Bicycle and pedestrian fatalities are rising at an alarming rate. In 2016, 138 bicyclists and 867 pedestrians were killed on California roads. Pedestrian fatalities are up nearly 33 percent from 2012, and the number of bicyclists killed is up nearly 25 percent over the past five years. In 2018, the San Diego Sheriff’s Department has investigated 146 fatal and injury collisions involving bicyclists and pedestrians.

Motorcycle fatalities have jumped dramatically in California over the past decade. In 2017, there were 576 people killed in motorcycle crashes statewide, up nearly 17 percent from 494 in 2015. Over the course of the past 3 years, motorcycle involved collisions have resulted in 9 fatal and 314 injury crashes.

Drivers should be alert for motorcyclists, as many motorcycle crashes are caused when drivers do not see them. Check your mirrors and blind spots, especially when merging, turning or changing lanes.

Motorcycle riders should make themselves visible by wearing brightly colored, protective clothing and keeping lights on during the day. Riders should also change lanes only when there is enough room and always wear a Department of Transportation compliant helmet.

Although lane splitting is now legal, motorcyclists should be extra careful traveling between lanes, avoiding the practice next to large vehicles like big rigs, buses and motorhomes, and factoring in lane width, traffic flow, and roadway conditions.

People walking should only cross the street using crosswalks or intersections, preferably at a stop sign or signal. People on foot should also look for cars backing up, avoid darting between parked cars, ensure to make eye contact with drivers, wear bright clothing during the day, and wear 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 bicycle riders are reminded to always wear a helmet; helmets are required by law for those under 18. Bicycle riders should always go with the flow of traffic, let faster traffic pass and use hand signals when turning or stopping.

All motorcycle riders, regardless of skill level, are encouraged to enroll in the California Motorcyclist Safety Program. Information and training locations are available at http://www.californiamotorcyclist.com/ or calling 1-877 RIDE-411 (1877-743-3411).

The San Diego Sheriff’s Department supports the new OTS public awareness campaign, “Go Safely, California.” To find out more about ways to go safely, visit gosafelyca.org.

Funding for motorcycle, bicycle and pedestrian safety enforcement operations are provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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