The San Luis Obispo Police Department (SLOPD) will be enhancing their bike safety enforcement after investigating 144 bike collisions in San Luis Obispo in the past three years, two of which were fatal.
Bicycle collisions by the numbers
According to SLOPD Sgt. John Villanti, there were an average of eight bicycle collisions per month in San Luis Obispo. Further, they were typically not centralized.
“There isn’t any particular place where collisions occur,” Sgt. John Villanti said. “It’s scattered.”
According to SLOPD, 23 cyclists have been hit by vehicles in 2017 as of late September. There were 54 similar accidents in 2016 and 2015 as well as 59 accidents in 2014.
According to a press release from SLOPD, 141 bicyclists died in California in 2013, accounting for five percent of all traffic fatalities. This was higher than the national average of slightly more than two percent.
The press release also reported 68 percent of all bicyclists who died in motor vehicle crashes in 2013 were in urban areas.
Upgraded enforcement in San Luis Obispo
Last week, more focused enforcement began with special patrols deployed to crack down on drivers and cyclists who violate traffic laws.
According to Villanti, most of the time, accidents with bikes and vehicles happen because of a distracted driver or biker.
“It could be taking your eyes off the road for a second to change the radio, look at a phone,” Villanti said. “Sometimes with bikers it’s changing the Pandora station on their phone and they drift out of the bike lane.”
SLOPD advises bikers and drivers to share the road and stay focused, even for short rides.