More people walk and ride their bikes any more, and the fatality rate resulting from collisions with automobiles is rising, said Sgt. Mike Brown with the Santa Barbara Police Department. After mapping the history of deaths and accidents in the past three years, the PD will be on alert Saturday for violations involving cars, bikes, and pedestrians that can result in “life-changing injuries” in areas where they’ve commonly occurred.
Within city limits, Santa Barbara has suffered five fatal crashes since 2013, 203 collisions involving pedestrians, and 355 injuries in bicycle accidents of all sorts, Brown said. The majority of incidents are occurring in four general areas: the waterfront, the upper De la Vina area from Constance to upper State Street at La Cumbre, several blocks around Milpas between De la Guerra and Carpinteria streets, and the downtown area from about Pedregosa to Gutierrez streets.
Speeding, illegal turns, failing to stop for signs and signals, and failing to yield for pedestrians are among the offenses police will be watching for by all modes of transportation. Brown added that pedestrians have rules they must follow, such as crossing the street legally: at marked crosswalks or at corners. Bicyclists must follow the same traffic rules that apply to automobiles, and riders under 18 must wear helmets. As always, helmets are advised for all bicycle riders.