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Santa Barbara Police Department conducts bicycle, pedestrian safety enforcement operation

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MGN Online

The Santa Barbara Police Department is conducting a bicycle and pedestrian safety enforcement operation this weekend.

This comes after more than 100 collisions involving a cyclist or pedestrian were reported last year.

More than a dozen officers went out on state street conducting the operation to ensure a safer pedestrian corridor.

“We are also ensuring safety for bicyclists and drivers alike. We'll be out there enforcing any unsafe action,” said spokesperson Anthony Wagner of the Santa Barbara Police Department.

The operation is aimed at educating bicyclists, drivers and pedestrians on traffic laws, rules and responsibilities.

“The issues are vehicle drivers not paying attention to bicycles and pedestrians, making left turns on State Street against the signs. Pedestrians jay walking is of course always a danger to them and the vehicles,” said sargeant Michale Brown of the Santa Barbara Police Department.

Officers said bicycle and pedestrian fatalities are rising at an alarming rate.

The number of bicyclists killed are up nearly 25 percent over the past five years.

In 2018, the Santa Barbara Police Department has investigated 156 injury collisions involving bicyclists and pedestrians.

Some of the violations police are looking for include drivers speeding, making illegal turns, failing to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks, and failing to stop for signs.

“Our hope here in the city of Santa Barbara is to have a zero vision strategy. That means zero-related traffic collision deaths and injuries. Education enforcement, evaluation and engineering all coming together to ensure the safety of drivers pedestrians and bicyclists.

Wagner said in just a few hours, officers already pulled over more than 50 people for unsafe behavior.

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Patricia Martellotti

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