SAN DIEGO — The San Diego Police Department plans a bicycle and pedestrian safety enforcement operation aimed at educating roadway users on traffic laws, police said Sunday.
From 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, officers will be looking for violations by bicyclists, drivers and pedestrians that put roadway users at risk. The 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.
Routine traffic patrols will focus on trouble spots, while targeted patrols in the Central Division, encompassing Balboa Park, Barrio Logan, Core-Columbia, Cortez, East Village, Gaslamp, Golden Hill, Grant Hill, Harborview, Horton Plaza, Little Italy, Logan Heights, Marina, Park West, Petco, Sherman Heights, South Park and Stockton communities will be deployed.
Officers will also look for pedestrians who cross the street illegally or fail to yield to drivers who have the right of way. Bike riders will be stopped when riding on the wrong side of the road, not complying with stop signs and signals, and other violations of the same traffic laws that apply to motorists.
Bicycle and pedestrian fatalities are rising at an alarming rate, police said. In 2016, 138 bicyclists and 867 pedestrians were killed on California roads. Pedestrian fatalities are up nearly 33% from 2012, and the number of bicyclists killed are up nearly 25% over the past five years.
“Whether you are on foot, behind the wheel or on a bike, you play a part in roadway safety,” Officer Mark McCullough of the San Diego Police Department said. “Understanding the rules of the road using all modes of transportation helps ensure we all get to our destination safely.”
Pedestrians should only cross the street using crosswalks or intersections, preferably with a stop sign or signal. People on foot should also look for cars backing up and avoid darting between parked cars, make eye contact with drivers and wear bright clothing during the day, and reflective materials or use a flashlight at night, McCullough said.
Drivers should wait for pedestrians to cross the street and avoid distractions such as using a cell phone. All bike riders are reminded to always wear a helmet. Helmets are required by law for those under 18. Bicyclists must travel in the same direction of traffic and have the same requirements as any slow-moving vehicle.
Funding for the operation is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.