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CHP Receives Grant To Improve Pedestrian & Bicyclist Safety

Thanks to a new federal grant, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) will be stepping up its safety initiatives for cyclists and pedestrians. Public safety officials hope these programs will dramatically reduce California’s pedestrian and cyclist fatalities.

Created by the California Office of Traffic Safety, this grant is called the California Pedestrian and Bicyclist Enforcement and Education Project (CPBEEP). Funds for this program will run from the beginning of this October till the end of September in 2019.

As you could see from the title, the CPBEEP focuses on both organizing public education programs and increasing the enforcement of existing road safety laws. The hope is that increased surveillance and awareness of the state’s pedestrian & cyclist laws will improve road safety conditions.

One key focus of the CPBEEP is explaining California’s new Three-Feet for Safety law (aka CVC § 21760). According to this law, motorists must maintain a space that measures three feet between themselves and a cyclist. Motorists are still allowed to pass bicyclists from behind if they’re traveling in the same direction and there’s at least three-feet of buffer space.

Currently, a little under 30 percent of all traffic deaths in California are either bicyclists or pedestrians. According to the latest statistics, there are about three cyclist or pedestrian fatalities in California every day.

In 2016 alone, over 1,000 cyclists lost their lives on California’s streets. It’s estimated that another 26,000 cyclists were injured in the same time frame.

A 2017 California Department of Public Health (CDPH) report found that pedestrian fatalities have gone up by about 11 percent between 2007 and 2013. The CDPH estimates that 2 out of every 100,000 pedestrians are killed in California per year.

For more information on the CHP’s bicycle and pedestrian safety initiatives, please visit this official webpage.