Paul Fontana, ChiefGolden Gate Division, Public Information Unit
1551 Benicia Road, Vallejo CA 94591
Officer Daniel Hill
Vallejo, CA – As more Californians make bicycle riding their primary form of transportation or recreational sport, the CHP reminds our communities to focus on keeping cyclists safe by sharing our roadways. On average, in California over 13,000 cyclists are injured and over 140 are killed each year in traffic collisions. Last year in the Bay Area alone, over 2,700 cyclists were injured in collisions, and 21 cyclists were killed. It is our responsibility to ensure this number does not increase, and quite frankly, it is our responsibility to do all we can to prevent vehicle versus bicycle incidents from occurring. Last September, the Legislature enacted the “Three Feet for Safety” law, which requires drivers to give cyclists at least three feet of clearance when passing. If this is not possible due to roadway or traffic conditions, motorists must slow to a reasonable speed and pass only when doing so will not endanger the cyclist. Violations of this law are considered moving violations, and will add a point to the driver’s record. In order to reduce the number of cyclists injured or killed in the Bay Area, the CHP has increased awareness of this law through education and enforcement efforts throughout the region. We have partnered with organizations like Safe Routes to School and other bicycle coalitions across the Bay Area. Through these partnerships, we offer safety rodeos and seminars to help cyclists stay safe on the road. These events enhance a rider’s skills, provide a forum for cyclists to learn more about safe riding habits and their requirement to adhere to the rules of the road, as well as tips to stay alive and thrive on the road. The CHP has partnered with Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley, the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department, and several local schools in a campaign titled “Don’t Rush Safety.” This campaign focuses on safe walking, bicycling, and driving around our schools through education efforts, public safety announcements, and directed enforcement, with the ultimate goal of keeping our children and cyclists safe. We have also partnered with 3footcycling.com, a nationwide advocacy group dedicated to informing the public about bicycle safety laws across the country. In partnership with 3footcycling.com, Golden Gate Division has developed warning letters that are sent to drivers seen violating the Three Foot Law and other bicycle-related laws. The letters are not punitive, but rather work to educate drivers about being safe around cyclists. The ultimate goal of all these partnerships is to reduce the number of people injured or killed while riding bicycles within our communities. Through focused enforcement, education, and outreach efforts, we can make the Bay Area a safer place to travel for all.