Following Tuesday night’s fatal crash that’s being investigated by the California Highway Patrol officers for a possible DUI crash, sheriff’s deputies announced increased enforcement efforts for Santa Clarita Valley roadways.
Whether you walk, drive or ride a bike in the Santa Clarita Valley, a special team of deputies is out in force Wednesday making sure laws are obeyed.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department vowed to step up its Bike & Pedestrian Safety Enforcement Operations Wednesday, paying particular attention to “collision causing factors” that involve motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists.
Sheriff’s officials mapped out places in the SCV where pedestrian and bike collisions have occurred over the last three years. They also looked the violations that led to those crashes.
Extra deputies were patrolling areas where bike and pedestrian traffic and crashes occur in an effort to lower deaths and injuries.
They’re looking for violations made by drivers, bike riders and pedestrians alike that could lead to life changing injuries.
Special attention is being given to drivers speeding, making illegal turns, failing to stop for signs and signals, failing to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks or any other dangerous violation.
Deputies taking part in the crackdown are also paying attention to the behavior of pedestrians.
In a news release issued Wednesday, those deputies would be watching for “violations when pedestrians cross the street illegally or fail to yield to drivers who have the right of way.”
Cyclists are also being scrutinized.
“Bike riders will be stopped and citations issued when they fail to follow the same traffic laws that apply to motorists,” the news release said, noting 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.
When deputies carried out a similar crackdown in September, they ended up handing out 48 citations for alleged violations.
The citations issued in the mid-September crackdown in Newhall included: unsafe speed, excessively loud music, two for red light violations and more than a dozen citations for drivers failing to yield to a pedestrian.
The lion’s share of alleged offenses which netted 31 people who were handed a citation – cell phone violations.
According to the news release announcing the crackdown, bicycle and pedestrian fatalities are rising in California as more people use these non-motorized means of transportation.
Locally, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has investigated 4,909 fatal and injury collisions involving pedestrians and bicyclists during the past three (3) years.
In 2016, California witnessed 867 pedestrians and 147 bicyclists killed, accounting for more than 28 percent of all traffic fatalities.
Funding for this program is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.