SDPD to crack down on drivers, pedestrians who violate traffic laws tonight

Photo by Gustavo Slovinsky.

The San Diego Police Department will crack down on drivers, pedestrians, bicyclists and scooter riders who violate traffic laws tonight, according to a press release.

Today until 8 p.m., routine traffic patrols will focus efforts in trouble spots and special patrols will target the Pacific Beach and Downtown area. Police say special attention will be directed toward drivers speeding, making illegal turns, failing to stop for signs and signals, and failing to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks.

“Pedestrian fatalities are rising in California as more people use non-motorized means of transportation,” SDPD said in the statement. “Locally, the San Diego police Department has investigated 1000’s of fatal and injury collisions involving bicyclist and pedestrians during the past three years. In 2013, California witnessed 701 pedestrian deaths accounting for over 23 percent of all roadway fatalities, much higher than the national average of 15 percent.”

SDPD also shared the following safety tips in the press release.

Drivers can:

  • Look out for bicyclist and pedestrians, especially in hard-to-see conditions such as at night or in bad weather.
  • Slow down and be prepared to stop when turning or entering a crosswalk where pedestrians are likely to be.
  • Stop at the crosswalk stop line to give drivers in other lanes an opportunity to see and yield to the pedestrians too.
  • Be cautious when backing up – pedestrians, especially young children, can move across your path
  • ‘Share the road’ with bicyclists
  • Be courteous; California law now mandates at least three feet of clearance when passing a bike riders
  • Look for cyclists before opening a car door or pulling out from a parking space
  • Yield to cyclists at intersections and as directed by signs and signals
  • Be especially watchful for riders when making turns, either left or right

Bicyclists can:

  • Wear properly fitted bicycle helmets every time they ride. If under 18 years of age, it’s the law
  • A helmet is the single most effective way to prevent head injury resulting from a bicycle crash
  • Riders are considered vehicle operators; they are required to obey the same rules of the road as other vehicle operators, including obeying traffic signs, signals, and lane markings.
  • When cycling in the street, cyclists must ride in the same direction as traffic.
  • Bicyclists should increase their visibility to drivers by wearing fluorescent or brightly colored clothing during the day, and at dawn and dusk
  • To be noticed when riding at night, the law requires a front light and a red reflector to the rear
  • For additional safety, use a flashing rear light, and use retro-reflective tape or markings on equipment or clothing.

Pedestrians can:

  • Be predictable. Follow the rules of the road, cross at crosswalks or intersections, and obey signs and signals.
  • Walk facing traffic and as far from traffic as possible if there is no sidewalk.
  • Pay attention to the traffic moving around you. This is not the time to be texting or talking on a cell phone.
  • Make eye contact with drivers as they approach. Never assume a driver sees you.
  • Wear bright clothing during the day and reflective materials (or use a flashlight) at night.’
  • Look left-right-left before crossing a street.
Categories: Traffic & Accidents