To help fund the California Highway Patrol’s yearlong effort to promote safety for bicyclists and pedestrians, the Department has been awarded the California Pedestrian and Bicyclist Enforcement and Education Project IX grant.
This grant enables officers to conduct enhanced enforcement patrols and public awareness campaigns throughout the state. It started on Oct. 1.
“It is important for motorists to scan each intersection for foot and bicycle traffic before entering, and it is especially important during hours of darkness,” CHP Commissioner Amanda Ray said. “Pedestrian and bicycle fatalities account for nearly one-third of all traffic-related deaths annually in California with the vast majority occurring at night.”
In 2019 and 2020 combined, 7,594 people were killed in crashes throughout California, with pedestrians and bicyclists accounting for 2,354 of those deaths.
October is National Pedestrian Safety Month, and on National Walk to School Day, which was Wednesday, the CHP focused its education and enforcement efforts in locations with high numbers of pedestrian and bicyclist crashes. Officers in plain clothes worked with uniformed officers to monitor crosswalks and areas surrounding schools for motorists who fail to yield the right-of-way or who drive unsafe and illegally.
The educational component of the grant funds traffic safety skills and training courses and informative presentations related to safe traffic behavior for high-risk populations, including older community members and youth. The grant also supports the distribution of safety equipment such as bicycle helmets and reflective gear.
Funding for this program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.