Deputies crack down to push bike, pedestrian safety

Deputies conducted a bicycle and pedestrian safety operation in September in Newhall. Multiple citations were written for various violations. courtesy photo SCV Sheriff's Station.

Sheriff’s deputies conducting an enforcement operation on bicycle and pedestrian safety Monday — the second crackdown of its type in two months — issued citations to at least 30 motorists, most of them for speeding.

Results of the operation revealed statistics almost unchanged from the number of citations issued two months ago when deputies issued 34 citations during a similar 10-hour period.

“They were specifically looking for hazards created for bicyclists and pedestrians,” said Shirley Miller, spokeswoman for the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station.

At least 21 of the 30 citations were handed out to motorists for allegedly driving at an unsafe speed, she said.

Three citations were given to people suspected of using a cellphone illegally, and two were for motorists not yielding to pedestrians, Miller said.

By comparison, the crackdown carried out on March 25 saw seven motorists out of 34 cited for failing to yield to a pedestrian.

Both operations, carried out in March and on Monday, aimed at improving the safety of bicyclists and pedestrians.

In a news release issued Friday in advance of the crackdown, deputies were expected to

look for pedestrians who cross the street illegally or fail to yield to drivers who have the right of way.

Bike riders were to be stopped when riding on the wrong side of the road, not complying with stop signs and signals, or other violations of the same traffic laws that apply to them as drivers.

Law enforcement officials say bicycle and pedestrian fatalities are rising at an alarming rate. In 2016, 138 bicyclists and 867 pedestrians were killed on California roads, according to statistics shared by the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department.

In 2018, the LASD investigated 1,052 fatal and injury collisions involving bicyclists and pedestrians in the cities policed by the Sheriff’s Department.

“Whether you are on foot, behind the wheel or on a bike, you play a part in roadway safety,” Sgt. Robert Hill, who heads the LASD’s Traffic Safety Operations, was quoted as saying.

“Understanding the rules of the road using all modes of transportation helps ensure we all get to our destination safely.”

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