SLO police to stake out bicyclists who break rules of the road
May 11, 2015
San Luis Obipso police will seek out and ticket bicyclists who violate traffic laws, as part of a traffic enforcement operation taking place Monday.
Police have mapped out where bicycle crashes and collisions involving pedestrians have have frequently occurred over the past two years. On Monday, the police department will send extra officers to patrol those locations and issue citations to offending drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians.
Officers will look for drivers and bicyclists who speed, make illegal turns, fail to stop for signs and signals or fail to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks. Police will pay attention to pedestrians who cross the street illegally or do not yield to drivers who have the right of way.
Over the past three years, 241 fatal or injury collisions involving bicyclists or pedestrians occurred in the city, according to police department statistics.
In 2014, five bicyclists died in San Luis Obispo County crashes. That placed SLO County as the statewide leader in bicycle fatalities per capita.
SLO County ranked fifth among California counties for the most collisions per capita last year. Santa Cruz and Santa Barbara counties ranked first and second respectively.
California lawmakers recently passed a law aimed at reducing vehicle-bicycle collisions that allows officers to cite motorists who come within three feet of bicyclists while passing them. CHP data, however, indicates the bicyclist is more often at fault in vehicle versus bicycle collisions.
Of the 1,503 vehicle-bicycle collisions in California in 2011 and 2012, 61 percent were the fault of the bicyclist, 20 percent were the fault of the driver and the rest were undetermined or hit-and-run.
The SLOPD traffic enforcement operation is funded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration by way of the California Office of Traffic Safety.
Usually bicyclist’s fault