The number of cyclists dying on the road continues to increase in California. In fact, cyclists accounted for nearly five percent of all traffic deaths in the state in 2013. This safety enforcement in San Luis Obispo is in response to that.
“A lot of [cyclists] don’t realize the potential of injury from each of these collisions; if they were to run a stop sign and be struck by a moving car, the chances of being injured are greatly increased because obviously the vehicle’s moving at a certain speed, and the pedestrian has no safety other than hopefully a helmet,” explains Officer Kevin Phillips from the San Luis Obispo Police Department.
From failing to stop at a stop sign to riding with two earbuds in instead of just one, the officers were on the lookout for any violation they could bring to cyclists’ attention.
“If I can prevent some of these vehicle collisions or the pedestrian collisions, that’s our goal,” says Officer Phillips.
Cyclist Spencer Kibbe agrees with that goal, telling us: “I think everyone should follow the same laws as cars do.”
Many motorists think cyclists are reckless on the roads however.
Motorist Thomas Jackson says: “I just feel like I’m always about to hit a biker.. they’re always somewhere.”
“Do they want to end up in an ambulance like what just went by? They should be more careful,” motorist Terry Dyksinski tells us.
Kibbe says he understands where some of the resentment from drivers comes from. “I think that they see themselves as the owners of the road and cyclists as just the pesky people taking up space whereas we all pay for the roads, we all ride them – they’re for everyone’s use,” he explains.
The San Luis Obispo Police Department says it hopes to run safety operations every month.