The bike light event has been successful in providing the Isla Vista community with lights when held in previous years, shown here. | Credit: Courtesy of the California Highway Patrol

In an effort to reduce injuries from traffic crashes involving cyclists, the California Highway Patrol is teaming up with local agencies to provide safety gear to the Isla Vista community.

“The agencies want to take an upbeat, proactive approach to bicycle safety and employ an alternative method rather than writing hundreds of traffic tickets to force compliance,” said Officer Jonathan Gutierrez, a public information and court officer with the Santa Barbara CHP in a press release.

On Wednesday, November 8, from 5-7:30 p.m., in front of Pardall Center at 6550 Pardall Road in Isla Vista, 1,000 bicycle lights, reflectors, and helmets will be distributed alongside safety information.

Representatives from the CHP, the Isla Vista Community Services District, and Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital will be present alongside UCSB student leaders and community volunteers.

The effort, dubbed “Be Seen I.V.,” is part of a bicycle safety approach developed by the CHP through meetings with UCSB community members, the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Office, and the University of California Police Department. Cyclists not having proper lights and cycling in the dark was a safety concern identified through those meetings. The CHP was able to obtain the gear through a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

“Our hope is to make Isla Vista brighter, thus making bicyclists visible during darkness, make the cycling environment safer, reduce injuries, and reduce property damage,” Gutierrez also said in the press release.

The safety items will be available for free to all members of the community.


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