Crime - Sacto 911

Citrus Heights police look to improve bike, pedestrian safety

Bicycle and pedestrian safety will be the focus of stepped-up enforcement activities planned by the Citrus Heights Police Department in coming weeks.

The department over the past two years has mapped locations where pedestrian and bike collisions have occurred, along with the violations that led to the crashes, according to a Police Department news release. Extra officers will be on duty, patrolling areas where violations are occurring, including locations where collisions take place, in an effort to reduce deaths and injuries.

Officers will look for violations by drivers, bicycle riders and pedestrians. Special attention will be directed toward drivers speeding, making illegal turns, failing to stop for signs and signals, failing to yield to pedestrians at crosswalks and other violations.

Police also will look for violations by pedestrians, such as crossing the street illegally or failing to yield to drivers who have the right of way. Pedestrians should cross the street only in marked crosswalks or at corners.

Bike riders will be stopped and cited when they fail to follow the same traffic laws that apply to motorists. Police remind bicyclists to wear a helmet, noting that the law requires helmets for riders younger than 18.

The Citrus Heights Police Department has investigated 156 injury or fatal collisions involving pedestrians and bicyclists during the past three years. In 2012, 612 pedestrians and 124 bicyclists were killed in California.

Funding for the city’s bike and pedestrian-safety enforcement operations is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Cathy Locke: 916-321-5287, @lockecathy