Monterey Park has a reputation for errant drivers and wayward pedestrians as well as bicyclists who prefer the safety of sidewalks. On Monday, Police in the city will be targeting traffic violators, thanks to a boost in funds from the State that enables the city traffic enforcement to put more time on the streets.
Police call it "stepping up" Bike and Pedestrian Safety Education and Enforcement Operations. On Monday, December 5, police will be out in force to focused attention on collision-causing factors involving motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists.
Recently, one pedestrian was killed and two others persons were seriously injured when hit by a car that drove onto the sidewalk. Bicycle and pedestrian fatalities are rising in California as more people use these non-motorized means of transportation. Locally, the Monterey Park Police Department has investigated 186 fatal and injury collisions involving pedestrians and bicyclists during the past three years. In 2013, California witnessed 701 pedestrians and 141 bicyclists killed, accounting for more than 28 percent of all traffic fatalities.Pedestrians and bicyclists can expect to receive a sidewalk education - which will include information and Q&A - along with a warning or the appropriate enforcement action when they are observed violating traffic rules.
According to Police press release the department has mapped out locations over the past several years where pedestrian and bike collisions have occurred along with the violations that led to those crashes. Extra officers will be on duty patrolling areas where bike and pedestrian traffic and crashes occur in an effort to lower deaths and injuries.
Officers will be looking for violations made by drivers, bike riders and pedestrians alike that can lead to life changing injuries. Special attention will be directed toward drivers speeding, making illegal turns, failing to stop for signs and signals, failing to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks or any other dangerous violation.
Additionally, enforcement will be taken for observed violations when pedestrians cross the street illegally or fail to yield to drivers who have the right of way. Bike riders will be stopped and warned, unless other appropriate enforcement action is necessary, when they fail to follow the same traffic laws that apply to motorists. All riders are reminded that it’s recommended 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.
Funding for this program is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.