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Law enforcement moves to reduce bike and pedestrian accidents

In Orange County and throughout California, the number of pedestrian and bicycle accidents that result in a fatality is becoming a worrisome trend. With the number of accidents involving vehicles hitting bicyclists and pedestrians, areas of the state are having law enforcement take steps to reduce their incidence. One tactic that resulted in close to 50 citations being written targeted violators. While this is a strategy to keep riders and pedestrians safe, it is unavoidable that a pedestrian or bicyclist versus auto accident will still come about.

In the crackdown, drivers were cited for violations, ranging from driving at an unsafe speed, having music that was too loud, driving through red lights and failure to yield to a pedestrian. The highest number of violations issued was for drivers using their cellphones while driving. The goal was to tamp down on the most common reasons for a crash between cars and bicyclists or pedestrians. Having a map of where the most crashes occurred was helpful in determining where the officers should be posted.

Since drivers tend to speed, make illegal turns, flout traffic lights and signs and not yield to pedestrians, these strategies of having officers issue citations for commonly dangerous activities is an attempt to convince drivers to be more cautious and vigilant. Even bicyclists who did not adhere to the law were cited.

The number of fatalities for bicyclists and pedestrians has been increasing across California. In Los Angeles alone, there were more than 3,500 investigations into crashes that caused fatalities and injuries of pedestrians and bicycle riders, since 2014. There were more than 700 pedestrians and more than 140 bicycle riders killed in 2013. This was greater than 28 percent of all traffic deaths.

If pedestrians and bicyclists were unaware of the dangers they face on the road, it only takes one second to become a part of these statistics. An auto pedestrian or auto-bicycle crash can cause substantial damage because of the lack of protection. When there is a crash, there can be huge medical bills, lost time at work and death. Speaking to a lawyer who is experienced in helping people involved in bicycle or pedestrian accidents can help with a legal case.

Source: The Signal Santa Clarita Valley, "4 dozen citations issued in bike/pedestrian crackdown," Jim Holt, Sept. 21, 2017

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