Although this release is dated 1 month ago I just received it this morning. It brings up many questions. What is not outlined here is how this will be enforced. Warnings? Citations? EDUCATION?! Perhaps this would be better implemented with our proposed traffic diversion program (in the works) which adds education as one of its primary components. For now I just want to get the word out.
“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 January 1, 2012 thru November 22, 2012 the Santa Monica Police Department has investigated one hundred and twenty-nine (129) collisions involving bicycles. In a majority of these collisions, the bicyclist was determined to not be at fault for the accident. However, when bicyclist have been found to be at fault, the common causations 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, please contact Sergeant Phillbo Rubish with the Santa Monica Police Department’s Traffic Division at 310-458-8950.