Santa Barbara police target law-breaking bicyclists

November 13, 2014

bicycles-70aSanta Barbara police cracked down on bicyclists who disobey traffic laws this week and issued a total of 69 citations in a two-day span. [KEYT]

On Tuesday and Wednesday, a team of motorcycle officers placed themselves in locations where bicyclists frequently break rules of the road. The officers then ticketed bicyclists for violations, like riding through stop signs and riding on the sidewalk.

Police say they are trying to reduce collisions between bicyclists and cars and pedestrians. A recent study ranked Santa Barbara second among similar sized cities in California for having the most bicycle collisions.

“Every time you investigate a stop sign intersection [collision], they say they didn’t see the car coming,” Police Officer J.C. Hunter said. “Because they didn’t see the car, that is why you are supposed to stop.”

During the two-day sting, officers also ticked drivers who broke traffic laws at the locations frequented by bicyclists. Police issued 18 citations to motorists.


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taxpayer

I was downtown in Morro Bay during one of the last big charity rides through town. Hundreds of bikers and I didn’t see one stop at the stop sign on Main St. The road wasn’t closed down and yet they just blew through it. I believe it was for injured Veterans, I could be wrong, but even if I support their charity, I disagree with their actions.


givemeabreak

One of the biggest culprits of this is Councilman Noah Schmuckler of Morro Bay, he rides his bike around regularly blowing through stop signs. Almost hit him a couple of times.


tomsquawk

so let’s look at his name….schmuck?


taxpayer

I’ve seen him run stop signs many times myself, usually with his dog off a leash. He thinks rules are made for other people. Morro Bay is in serious trouble.


marcusaurelius

so. i see your point. do you think our public safety in Morro Bay should obey the law? They sleep on the job a lot you know.


Jorge Estrada

Apparently double fines for whatever have become common practice so expect that the cyclists will become the next excuse for double trouble.


MaryMalone

A few weeks ago, on a Saturday, I saw an AG police officer dealing with a bicyclist, on Grand Avenue.


NorthCountyGuy

A crackdown is badly needed on the dangerous bike-riding and car-driving scofflaws and douchebags of North SLO County.


SpeakTruth

I wish SLO PD would do this. I can’t begin tell you how many times per day I see bicyclists blow through stop signs in SLO. You’d think being as vulnerable as they are against automobiles, bicyclists would take more care, yet the opposite is true.


Side_Show_Bob

Speaking as a cyclist, more so a devoted Mountain Biker but still an occasional road rider, I see cyclists are becoming their own worst enemies on the road. As with any group, there are the “bad apples” that seem to think they’re immune from traffic laws and common courtesy while on the road. It’s high time they start to consider how their actions are perceived by the surrounding community because with the recent deaths of several cyclists in our community, the vitriol and idiotic mentality of so many non-cyclists that are behind the wheel of their cars has become just plain scary. To some drivers, bikes are just a target. They seem to forget that there is a human life attached to that machine and fail to realize how dangerous their driving habits are to those that are out there doing something to improve their lives on a bike.


In short, Riders…quit riding like douchebags on the street. Drivers….quit driving like douchebags on the street.


MaryMalone

I think I love you.


tomsquawk

Bob; you are not a side show. I own a buncha bikes. I also know how to take a less precarious route to avoid traffic. And, I don’t believe in “I Bike Therefore I am” And as far as mountain bikes? They are a good defensive measure; go get dirty, not noticed.


dogeatdog

Good for them. I can’t tell you how many times I have almost collided with a bicyclist who ran a stop sign, riding 3 wide with one in My lane of traffic, not using correct turn lanes.


There are laws on the books for riding and I think those need to be ticketed as well as cars. I don’t want to have to live with the fact I hit a bike because they did not obey the law.


bobfromsanluis

Excuse me; your lane of traffic? Unless a street is clearly, plainly marked “NO BICYCLES” (which I have streets labeled in that manner in Portland, Oregon) all streets are available to be used by all vehicular traffic, which includes bicycles. I agree with you that they should not be riding three abreast unless there is a bicycle lane wide enough to do so, but again, bicycles are considered vehicles by our state traffic laws.


And if you don’t want to live with hitting a cyclist, do your part by giving them the space that is legally required. Sure, there are idiots on bicycles, just as there are idiots driving motorized vehicles, so make sure you are paying attention when you pass anyone on a bicycle.


r0y

“..bicycles are considered vehicles by our state traffic laws.”


Good. Now they can get ticketed like one, too.


zaphod

an acquaintance ran the light at chorro and mission plaza on a bicycle, serious points from her license and 400.00 U$D fine. three years ago.


bobfromsanluis

“Good. Now they can get ticketed like one, too.”


They have always been able to be ticketed; it is a decision by LEOs to decide if a person on a bicycle is presenting themselves as a danger to others and happen to get caught breaking the law.


I don’t ride very much right now, I used to commute to work daily on a bicycle. I saw my share of riders flaunting the law, and on rare occasion I would risk a stop sign if I was absolutely certain there was no one coming the other way, but that was pretty rare, and usually only in residential neighborhoods.


Of the two accidents I had on a bike, both were caused by an automobile driver not seeing me; one of them cruised through a stop sign and I smacked into his car but didn’t get hurt. The other one pulled out between stopped cars downtown on Monterey Street and I tried to go around him; my handlebar caught his rear bumper and I spun out sliding into the curb bulbout in front of Muzio’s. I broke my left femur. That was twenty years ago.


tomsquawk

let’s discuss rights & privileges. machines and lesser machines included. you are not a side show. I own a buncha bikes. I also know how to take a less precarious route to avoid traffic. And, I don’t believe in “I Bike Therefore I am” And as far as mountain bikes? They are a good defensive measure; go get dirty, not noticed.


pasoparent5

bobfromsanluis:


Have you ever been up here to the North County–where roads are country roads, many barely wide enough for 2 vehicles, let alone bikes?! Many roads here are not able to be widened on either side and bike lane or not–it’s simply NOT safe for bicyclists.


Yet every weekend there are increasingly large numbers of cyclists–many of them from out of town–that insist on riding in rural areas where it just doesn’t make sense. In many parts of rural Paso/San Miguel/Estrella/River Rd, I just can NOT “do my part by giving them the space that is legally required” because there is NO space available!


Some more common sense on the part of bicyclists would be appreciated, instead of this foolish “it’s my lane of traffic” attitude.


JMO

We were in the Bavarian Alps a few years ago. Talk about narrow country roads. But, I have to say all motorists slowed down or even stopped for bicyclists, if needed. Hey, if those guys on bikes had the legs to climb those hills, the Germans weren’t about to hit them. Both bicyclists and motorists seemed much more courteous there than here. Pasoparent5, slow down and let a bicyclist live.


pasoparent5

OK, JMO.


You try driving out on Hog Canyon, N. River Rd or Creston Rd sometime on a weekend.


Even driving 5 MPH BELOW the speed limit, you can still drive around a curve and BAM there are two or three cyclists–side by side, not single file–and coming the other way is a cattle truck…or an SUV…or a truck pulling a horse trailer. So it’s not possible to swerve to the left without causing a head-on collision. And it’s not always possible to slow down or stop because of blind curves on country roads.


It’s not a matter of being “courteous” or “slowing down.”


It’s a matter of careless, reckless cyclists riding on roads that are simply NOT designed for them. Period.


bobfromsanluis

Why yes, yes I have been in various areas of our lovely county on some roads that were so narrow there were no lines painted down the middle of the road, and yes, I have encountered cyclists on those same roads. Most of those roads are not made for driving at 55 MPH, especially those so narrow they don’t have a divider paint on them. Perhaps on those unpainted roads we all need to slow down and be cautious; on the narrow roads that do have a painted line on them, it would certainly be smart for the packs of cyclists to be more aware of where they are riding and not contribute to an accident by taking up the whole lane; that said however, cyclists have every right to be there, just as slow moving farm tractors and construction equipment do.


Your inconvenience by waiting for thirty seconds to pass a group of cyclists isn’t going to ruin your day; not like mowing into a group of cyclists would. At least try to be courteous, it doesn’t cost you anything.


marcusaurelius

run them over then, in your hurry to get your nails done. When i rode a horse, the lanes were blocked by wagons, so i waited or went around. Time was irrelevant.


Pelican1

Uh oh…there goes another Bank of America.


tomsquawk

what babba?


toryrand

holds gun to head while saying “pay my salary”


marcusaurelius

are you crazy toryrand?