(KTSF by Sean Au)
In response to the recent pedestrian fatality involving a bicyclist, the SFPD says it is going to step up enforcement targeting the busiest streets in San Francisco. The SFPD will also launch the Bicycle Citation Diversion Education Program with the SF Municipal Transportation Agency within the coming months to allow bicyclists violating traffic laws to attend ‘traffic school’ in lieu of paying a fine.
Police statistics show that in 2010, there were 18 cases of accidents involving bicyclists and pedestrians. Last year, there were 29 cases, of which 2 were fatalities. Police say the main causes of such accidents are due to bicyclists not yielding the right of way, running the red light and speeding, and pedestrians not obeying traffic laws.
Police say the fatal accident in the Castro two weeks ago is proof that bicycle speeding is dangerous for road users. “The accident in Market and Castro is a perfect example of a bicyclist speeding through an intersection where you have pedestrians in the intersection and you have pedestrains who cannot move very quickly to get out of the way of bicyclists,” said Captain Al Casciato of SFPD’s Traffic Company.
Police say they will be stepping up enforcement along busy streets like Market Street, the Embarcadero and Van Ness Avenue.
SF Board of Supervisors President David Chiu adds, “If there is behavior that crosses the criminal line, I expect the SF District Attorney’s Office will be working with the SFPD in prosecuting those violators.”
SFPD will also partner with the SFMTA to launch the Bicycle Citation Diversion Education Program, which will act like ‘traffic school’ to offer bicylist violators to attend road safety lesson instead of paying the fine. However, this option will not be offered to repeat offenders and those involved in accidents that cause injuries or property damage.
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