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Police increasing enforcement of California traffic laws

On Feb. 19, the Santa Barbara Police Department held a day-long event aimed at stronger enforcement of bike safety laws. The department was on the lookout for violations by both drivers and bicyclists at intersections where accidents had occurred in the past three years. Statistics indicate that there had been 341 bicycle accidents in Santa Barbara during this time with reported injuries while two had reported fatalities.

In one incident, a biker who was not wearing a helmet or riding a bike with functioning brakes failed to stop at a red light. He was hit by a vehicle and had to go the hospital suffering from pain in his neck, back and extremities. Santa Barbara has the second-highest rate of bicycle collisions that result in injuries or fatalities in the state, according to the California Office of Traffic Safety . The city also has one of the highest rates of accidents involving pedestrians over the age of 65.

However, the state of California generally has a higher rate of cyclist fatalities compared to the rest of country. In California, 5 percent of traffic fatalities involve bicyclists compared to 2 percent nationally. The primary explanation for this is that more people choose to bike in the state compared to other parts of the country.

Individuals who are involved in bicycle accidents may suffer serious injuries that could take months or years to recover from. If the accident was caused by a motorist failing to yield the right of way or who was negligent in another manner, the cyclist may want to have the assistance of counsel in filing a personal injury lawsuit that would seek compensation from the at-fault party.

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