SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The California Highway Patrol (CHP) was awarded a federal grant to support its yearlong education and enforcement efforts to help improve pedestrian and bicyclist safety throughout the state. The Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety, Education, Enforcement, and Awareness Program II, which continues through Sept. 30, 2024, is designed to help educate and enforce traffic safety laws for drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians.
“Safe streets are built on shared responsibility, where motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians all play a key role in ensuring each trip ends with a safe arrival,” said CHP Commissioner Sean Duryee. “This grant is an investment in helping improve the safety of California’s most vulnerable roadway users.”
In California, pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities account for 20 percent of all traffic-related deaths in CHP jurisdiction. Pedestrians and bicyclists make up 1,519 of the 7,559 people killed in crashes between 2020 and 2022 throughout CHP jurisdiction.
In the spirit of sharing the road, the CHP offers the following suggestions:
- Adhere to the posted speed limit and exercise caution on busy streets with more bicyclists and pedestrians.
- Stay focused on driving and eliminate distraction behind the wheel.
- Yield to pedestrians and stop for people walking at marked and unmarked crosswalks.
- Show consideration for cyclists by maintaining 3 feet of distance when safely passing them. Change lanes when possible.
- Stay alert to oncoming vehicles.
- Use crosswalks when available, especially at stop signs or signals. Exercise caution when crossing at night or when navigating busier streets with multiple lanes and higher speed limits as visibility may be reduced.
- Increase your visibility by wearing light-colored clothing, reflective material, and carrying a flashlight during nighttime or dawn/dusk hours.
- Ride in the same direction of traffic. Bicyclists must adhere to the same rules and regulations as any slow-moving vehicle.
- Employ hand signals and use bike lanes, when accessible.
- Wear a helmet and ensure your bike is equipped with lights when riding at night.
Receipt of the grant funding is timely, as October is National Pedestrian Safety Month. On October 4, the CHP joined schools throughout the state to celebrate National Walk to School Day. CHP officers in plainclothes worked with uniformed officers to monitor crosswalks and areas surrounding schools.
Additional specialized enforcement operations will be conducted during the year focusing on areas with higher bicyclist and pedestrian traffic and crashes, and officers will also conduct public awareness campaigns in communities throughout the state. This grant also funds bicycle safety training and educational presentations to promote safe and courteous traffic safety behaviors by drivers and bicyclists, as well as safety publications, bicycle helmets, reflective gear, and other vital 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.
The mission of the CHP is to provide the highest level of Safety, Service, and Security.