The Manteca Police Department will be stepping up bicycle safety enforcement operations with focused enforcement on collision-causing factors involving motorists and bike riders.
Special overtime patrols will be deployed to crackdown on drivers and bicyclists who violate basic traffic laws.
The department has mapped out locations over the past several years where bicycle involved collisions have occurred along with the violations that led to those crashes. Officers will be looking for violations made by drivers and bike riders alike that can lead to life changing injuries.
Bicycle fatalities are rising in California as more people use bicycling for commuting, exercise and recreation. Locally, Manteca Police Department has investigated numerous fatal and injury collisions involving bike riders during the past three (3) years. In 2012, California witnessed 124 bicyclist deaths that year while nationally 726 riders were killed.
Nationally, fatal bike crash patterns have changed markedly. The percentage involving adults age 20 and older increased from 21 percent in 1975 to 84 percent in 2012. The percentage involving males increased from 82 percent to 88 percent during this period. Adult males comprised 74 percent of all bicyclist deaths in 2012. The percentage of deaths occurring in urban areas climbed from 50 percent in 1975 to 69 percent in 2012. The following safety tips can save lives and stop this tragedy witnessed far too often in Manteca:
u‘Share the road’ with bicyclists
uBe courteous; California law now mandates at least three feet of clearance when passing a bike riders
uLook for cyclists before opening a car door or pulling out from a parking space
uYield to cyclists at intersections and as directed by signs and signals
uBe especially watchful for riders when making turns, either left or right
uWear properly fitted bicycle helmets every time they ride. If under 18 years of age, it’s the law
uA helmet is the single most effective way to prevent head injury resulting from a bicycle crash
uRiders are considered vehicle operators; they are required to obey the same rules of the road as other vehicle operators, including obeying traffic signs, signals, and lane markings.
uWhen cycling in the street, cyclists must ride in the same direction as traffic.
uBicyclists should increase their visibility to drivers by wearing fluorescent or brightly colored clothing during the day, and at dawn and dusk
uTo be noticed when riding at night, the law requires a front light and a red reflector to the rear
u For additional safety, use a flashing rear light, and use retro-reflective tape or markings on equipment or clothing
Funding for this program is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.