Officials in Sacramento County are weighing in on bicycle safety. The California Highway Patrol has announced a new 10-month campaign intended to reduce the number of bicycle accidents in Sacramento County. The initiative follows a study that looked at bicycle and pedestrian accidents on northern Sacramento County roads between 2007 and 2009.
The CHP intends to conduct a public awareness campaign, funded in part through the Traffic Safety Corridor project. The CHP says in a written news release that, “Pedestrian and bicycle safety is about educating the motorists as much as it is about informing those who travel by foot or by bike.”
The pedestrian and bicycle safety program reportedly is intended to highlight the risks negligent drivers pose to others on the road. In addition to public awareness messages, the CHP will be scheduling appearances in Sacramento area schools and initiate “increased enforcement efforts,” which will likely include an increase in traffic stops to increase bicycle and pedestrian safety.
CHP personnel looked at the number of injury producing and fatal accidents involving bicyclists and pedestrians in three ten-month periods from 2007 to 2009. The study indicated that in each period, there was an average of one fatal bicycle accident and 10 fatal pedestrian accidents each year in the CHP North Sacramento Area office’s jurisdiction. In addition to the fatal accidents, the CHP says an average of 129 bicyclists and 96 pedestrians suffered personal injuries each year.
Meanwhile, a CHP officer was injured in Chico last week while attending to a bicyclist who reportedly had collapsed while riding. CHP officers believe that bicyclist may have been under the influence. While the CHP officer, who was just 35 days from retirement, attended to the incapacitated cyclist, a second rider reportedly came around a blind corner, ran over the wheel of the first cyclist’s bike, and was launched in the air toward the CHP officer.
The officer was treated at Enloe Medical Center for cuts, bruises and a dislocated rib.
Source: Examiner, “CHP to launch safety initiative for cyclists,” Sam Pickering Pick, Dec. 3, 2011