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Santa Maria Police Issue 36 Citations During Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Enforcement Operation

The Santa Maria Police Department Traffic Unit conducted a bicycle and pedestrian safety and enforcement operation Wednesday that focused efforts on factors that cause collisions between motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists.

The department has identified locations over the past three years where pedestrian and bicycle collisions have occurred along with the violations that led to those crashes. The assigned officers were on-duty patrolling these areas during this operation.

Special attention was directed toward drivers speeding, making illegal turns, failing to stop for signs and signals, failing to yield to pedestrians in cross walks or any other dangerous violations.

Additional enforcement was taken for observed violations when pedestrians crossed the street illegally or failed to yield to drivers who had the right-of-way. Bicyclists were stopped and issued citations when they failed to follow the rules of the road. All bicyclists are reminded to always wear a helmet — those under 18 years of age must wear helmets by law. Pedestrians should cross the street only in marked crosswalks or at corners.

During this operation, officers compiled the following citations and/or arrests:

» Total stops — 43

» Total citations — 36

» Bicycle citations — 9

» Pedestrian citations — 0

» Warrant arrest — 1

» DUI arrest — 1

The Santa Maria Police Department has investigated over 290 injury collisions involving pedestrians and bicyclists during the past three years, with 10 of those resulting in fatalities. In 2012, California had 612 pedestrians and 124 bicyclists killed, while nationally; 4,743 pedestrians and 726 bicyclists were killed. The Governor’s Highway Safety Association & the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration completed a report in 2012 that revealed California led the nation in bicycle and pedestrian deaths.

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