SAN FRANCISCO—On Thursday, December 17, the San Francisco Police Department indicated they conducted a Traffic Safety Enforcement Operation, “with a focus on bicycle and pedestrian safety.”
Due to multiple pedestrian and bicycle-related collisions, the department said they placed more police officers on the streets where these collisions have mostly occurred.
“Special attention will be given to Focus on the Five violations: speeding, making illegal turns, failing to stop for stop signs and red lights, failing to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks, as well as any other dangerous violation,” said the police department in a statement.
According to authorities, pedestrian and bicycle-related collisions are increasing in California because more people are using “non-motorized means of transportation.”
“In 2016, California witnessed 867 pedestrians and 147 bicyclists killed, accounting for more than 28 percent of all traffic fatalities,” notes a press release from the SFPD.
According to the United States Department of Transportation, every biker needs a helmet that fits well. All bikers under 18 must wear a helmet by law.
The Department of Transportation indicated that most bicyclist deaths occurred most often between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m.
“Be focused and alert to the road and all traffic around you,” said the Department of Transportation. “Anticipate what others may do, before they do it. This is defensive driving—the quicker you notice a potential conflict, the quicker you can act to avoid a potential crash.”
Some tips from the Department of Transportation is to drive the bike with the flow of traffic, obey all the street signs (the same as when driving a car), and “always assume the drivers of cars do not see you.” Additional tips include paying attention to any situations that may cause a fall, like potholes, grates, train tracks, and pebbles.
“No texting, listening to music, or using anything that distracts you by taking your eyes and ears or your mind off the road and traffic,” stated the Department of Transportation.
The San Francisco Police Department said that all pedestrians should “cross the street only in marked or unmarked crosswalks at corners. All motorists are reminded to be mindful of others who share the road.”