Atascadero plans stepped-up traffic enforcement
Atascadero Police Department will step up bike & pedestrian safety enforcement operations on Thursday with focused enforcement on collision causing factors involving motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists.
The department has mapped out locations over the past five years where pedestrian and bike collisions have occurred, along with the violations that led to those crashes. Extra officers will be on duty patrolling areas where bike and pedestrian traffic and crashes occur in an effort to lower deaths and injuries.
Officers will be looking for violations made 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 or any other dangerous violations.
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. All riders 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.
Locally, Atascadero police Department has investigated several fatal and injury collisions involving pedestrians and bicyclists during the past three years. In 2012, California witnessed 612 pedestrians and 124 bicyclists killed that year while nationally; 4,743 pedestrians and 726 bicyclists were killed. The Governors Highway Safety Association’s & the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 2012 Data reports reveal that California leads the nation in bicycle and pedestrian deaths.
Funding for this program is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.