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Santa Barbara Police to Conduct Two Days of Downtown Bicycle Enforcement

The Santa Barbara Police Department, with the Santa Barbara Bike Coalition’s support, will be conducting two days of targeted enforcement on bicycling behavior in downtown on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The purpose of the targeted enforcement is to:

» 1. Improve public safety for all road users.

» 2. Respond to citizen and City Council concerns regarding policing of bicyclist behavior.

» 3. Support the city’s 2015 Bicycle Master Plan efforts for education and enforcement.

» 4. Support the Bike Coalition efforts to educate and encourage safe and frequent bicycling behavior.

The Santa Barbara Police Department will be ticketing bicyclists who violate any California Vehicle Code statutes or city ordinances. Examples include riding bicycles on sidewalks, running red lights, failing to come to complete stops at signed intersections, and not yielding to pedestrians. Drivers and pedestrians who commit observed infractions will also be cited.

Drivers are reminded that California now has a 3-foot passing law, meaning that when passing a bicyclist a driver must allow at least 3 feet of space between a vehicle and the bicyclist. Oftentimes this means slowing and waiting for 15 to 30 seconds until there is a safe place, without oncoming traffic, to make the pass.

By every measure (survey data, parking demand and bike counts), bicycling is becoming more popular for both residents and tourists alike. However, Santa Barbara is the second-highest rated city of similar size in California for bicycle collisions. The primary goal of this enforcement effort is to improve public safety and to reduce collisions, injuries and fatalities. Secondary goals include reminding all roadway users to obey the law, observe the posted speed limits, come to complete stops, yield to pedestrians, and only cross intersections when it is safe and legal to do so.

Patrols and enforcement will occur downtown between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday.

— Sgt. Riley Harwood is a public information officer for the Santa Barbara Police Department.


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