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Grant gives green light for CHP to focus on pedestrian and bicyclist safety

Whether it is two-wheeled transportation or hitting the road by foot, safety is a two-way street. To help fund the California Highway Patrol’s (CHP) yearlong effort to drive the message home, the Department was awarded the California Pedestrian and Bicyclist Enforcement and Education Project VII grant, which began Oct. 1 and enables officers to conduct enhanced-enforcement patrols and public awareness campaigns.

“Pedestrian and bicyclist safety are a priority for the CHP,” CHP Commissioner Warren Stanley said. “This grant provides us additional resources to enhance the safety of the most vulnerable roadway users.”

Pedestrian and bicycle fatalities account for nearly 28 percent of all traffic-related deaths in California. Approximately one-half of all pedestrian crashes in the state occur at a crosswalk. The CHP reminds motorists that every corner is a crosswalk, whether marked or unmarked.

The CHP will focus on locations with high numbers of pedestrian and bicyclist crashes. Officers in plain clothes will work with uniformed officers to monitor crosswalks for motorists and pedestrians who fail to yield the right-of-way or who take unsafe and illegal actions.

School zone enforcement operations will take place throughout the year. To improve pedestrian safety in school bus zones, officers will ride school buses to watch for drivers who fail to stop for flashing red lights. When they spot a driver who has not stopped, they will relay the vehicle description to an officer in the vicinity.

The educational component funds traffic safety rodeos and educational presentations related to safe and courteous traffic safety behavior. The grant also supports safety publications, bicycle helmets, reflective gear and other safety equipment.

Funding for this program was provided by the California Office of Traffic Safety through a grant from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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