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City launches new campaign for bike safety

Partnership with Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station aims for safer sharing of local roads

Posted: May 26, 2014 2:00 a.m.
Updated: May 26, 2014 2:00 a.m.
 

Santa Clarita Valley officials are ramping up a public safety campaign to encourage bicyclists, as well as pedestrians and motorists to be safer on the road, according to officials.

“The Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s (Station) and the city are partnering to launch a targeted public safety campaign that will provide tips and tools to help bicyclists, pedestrians and motorists practice safer habits on the road,” said Sgt. Rich Cohen of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station’s Traffic Unit, in a news release.

The campaign includes two major themes: “Respect is a Two-Way Street,” and “Be Aware, Stay Alive” to help drive home at the fact that drivers, pedestrians and bikers need to follow the rules of the road and be aware of their surroundings, according to officials.

The city’s www.BikeSantaClarita.com website includes a series of tips for bicyclists to be safer on the road, including obeying traffic laws, making your intentions clear on the road by signaling turns and thinking ahead to be prepared for potential obstacles.

“The city of Santa Clarita continually works to keep local roadways safe for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians alike, but residents can also do their part by understanding and following the rules of the road,” said Andrew Yi, traffic engineer for the city of Santa Clarita. “Through the bike safety campaign, we hope to help motorists be more aware of pedestrians and cyclists, and help pedestrians and cyclists to be more aware of motorists, to dramatically reduce collisions among them.”

The city typically sees dozens of such incidents in a given year, according to city spokeswoman Gail Morgan.

“Nobody wakes up in the morning and says, ‘I want to hit a bicyclist today,’ but they need to be awarethat these things are happening,” Morgan said.

Citing Sheriff’s Station records, Morgan said there were 45 motorized vehicles versus bicycle incidents in 2013, of which 38 resulted in injuries and one person was killed.

In 27 of those cases, investigators determined the bicyclist was at fault for the collision, Morgan said, and in 13 cases the motorist was deemed to be at fault. Fault was undetermined in the remaining cases.

“We’re a city that respects its bicyclists and wants to make sure bicyclists are following the rules,”Morgan said. “We really care about people riding their bikes and we want them to be safe.”

In 2013, the city had 54 vehicle-versus-pedestrian incidents, all of which resulted in injuries.

Two people were also killed in such incidents, according to Morgan.

Of those 54, investigators determined pedestrians were at fault in 17 cases, while motorists were deemed to be at fault in 29. Fault was undetermined in the remaining cases, according to Morgan.

For more on the campaign, visit www.BikeSantaClarita.com.

Lmoney@signalscv.com
661-287-5525
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