For the month of December, Santa Monica Police Department motor officers in addition to their normal duties, will focus on bicyclists who fail to follow the rules of the road.
From Jan. 1, 2012 through Nov. 22, 2012 the SMPD has investigated 129 collisions involving bicycles.
Each month, the SMPD’s Traffic Enforcement Unit focuses on different driving behaviors that are the primary causes for traffic collisions.
California Vehicle Code Section 21200 identifies laws applicable to bicycles:
A person riding a bicycle or operating a pedicab upon a highway has all the rights and is subject to all the provisions applicable to the driver of a vehicle.
In a majority of these collisions, the bicyclist was determined to not be at fault for the accident.
However, when bicyclist have been found to be at fault, the common causations have ranged from failure to stop at traffic signals and stop signs, failure to ride upon the right-side of the roadway, unsafe turning movements, riding under the influence and unsafe speed.
Bicycle Liaison Officer Peter Lashley wants to remind all bicycle riders that rules of the road pertain to bicycle riders also.
Further, bicyclists are not permitted to ride upon any sidewalk in the city of Santa Monica and doing so is a violation of the city’s municipal code.