Bicyclists and pedestrians are getting some special attention next week in the form of a police safety operation.
The Newport Beach Police Department conducted a focused Bike & Pedestrian Safety Enforcement Operations on Wednesday, and will repeat the effort again on Wednesday and again later in the month, on June 26.
Authorities aim to reduce injuries by putting more officers on the street patrolling areas where there is recent traffic collisions have occurred, NBPD Lt. Jay Short wrote in a press release on Tuesday.
They will target drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians alike for education and enforcement.
“The officers will be focused on specific offenses including driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, speeding, making illegal turns, failing to stop for signs and signals, and any other dangerous activities,” Short wrote.
Short explains in the message that enforcement will be taken if officers observe vehicles failing to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks, or when pedestrians fail to yield to drivers who have the right of way.
Bicyclists who fail to follow the same traffic laws as motorists and drivers who fail to share the road safely with bicyclists will receive citations.
Police used the message to remind community members to wear a helmet when riding a bike, which is required by law for kids under the age of 18. They also warned pedestrians to only cross the street in marked crosswalks or at corners.
“Bicycle and pedestrian fatalities are rising in California as more people use these non-motorized means of transportation,” Short explained.
In 2013, more than 28 percent of all traffic fatalities in California involved pedestrians (701 killed) and bicyclists (141 killed).
In Newport Beach over the last three years, police have investigated 14 fatal and 422 injury collisions involving pedestrians and bicyclists.
Police encouraged motorists to stay alert and watch for bicyclists and pedestrians, especially when turning or changing lanes.
“The Police Department remains dedicated to these efforts to prevent traffic-related deaths and injuries,” Short wrote in the statement. “Our message to anyone on the streets in Newport Beach is: whether you are on wheels or on foot, it’s your responsibility to safely share the road.”