Alert: Santa Monica Police Targeting Drivers, Cyclists Again

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The Santa Monica Fire Department keeps a google map of traffic collisions in Santa Monica. There are nearly 100 injuries and an average of five deaths every year on Santa Monica's streets.
The Santa Monica Fire Department reports traffic collisions in Santa Monica on its Twitter account. Resident Adam Rakunas compiled this map based on that data. There are nearly 100 injuries and an average of five deaths every year on Santa Monica’s streets.

The Santa Monica Police Department is once again targeting dangerous behavior by street users, whether you’re behind the wheel, on foot, or on a bike, this Monday, November 24.

Monday’s enforcement will focus on dangerous behavior by people in cars, but, like the enforcement operation staged on Friday, November 14, SMPD will also be on the lookout for anyone riding or walking carelessly, according to an SMPD press release.

“Officers will be looking for violations engaged by drivers, bike riders and pedestrians alike that can lead to life changing injuries. Special attention will be directed toward drivers speeding, making illegal turns, failing to stop for signs and signals, failing to yield to pedestrians in cross walks and similar dangerous violations,” according to SMPD officials.

“Additionally, enforcement will be taken for observed violations when pedestrians cross the street illegally or fail to yield to drivers who have the right of way. Bike riders will be stopped and citations issued when they fail to follow the same traffic laws that apply to motorists,” the official statement continues.

The statement reiterates the severity of the traffic safety issues we are facing in Santa Monica. In the last three years, according to the press release, Santa Monica police have investigated 874 serious collisions, which resulted in death or injury and involved pedestrians and bicyclists.

Though, according to the SMPD, “a majority of the collisions involving bicyclists have been determined that the other party was at fault.”

Still, Cynthia Rose, head of Santa Monica Spoke, the local chapter of the Los Angeles Bicycle Coalition, said that it is vital that all road users know the rules. To that end, Rose said, everyone should familiarize themselves with Spoke’s pocket guide here.

Maybe, some day in Santa Monica, SMPD won’t need a special enforcement operation to make sure people on the road don’t endanger their lives or the lives of others.

Jason Islas
Jason Islashttp://santamonicanext.org
Jason Islas is the editor of Santa Monica Next and the director of the Vote Local Campaign. Before joining Next in May 2014, Jason had covered land use, transit, politics and breaking news for The Lookout, the city’s oldest news website, since February 2011.

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