Friday, April 12, 2013

Increased enforcement of ped/bike infractions

Photo: Fairfax Times
According to the article Police step up efforts to quell pedestrian- and cycling-related crashes: Cycling hit-and-runs have doubled, Fairfax police have significantly increased the number of "citations written for pedestrian-related violations over the last two calendar years." In 2010, 213 citations were written compared with 582 in 2012.

As we reported earlier, the number of bike crashes last year (106) was a 26% increase over 2011. The number of hit and runs doubled, from 6 in 2011 to 12 in 2012.
Police said that starting this month, enforcement and education efforts concerning pedestrian safety have been stepped up across Fairfax County. Efforts began April 6 with a focus on areas near the two Metro stations in the McLean District. Commuters in those areas this month can expect to see officers monitoring crosswalks, posting electronic signboards and strictly enforcing traffic laws for both drivers and pedestrians. Tickets and warnings will be issued for drivers who are exceeding the speed limit, not yielding to pedestrians and committing other violations. Pedestrians will also be expected to use crosswalks and comply with existing laws.

“That also goes for cyclists,” said police spokesman Bud Walker, who compiles bicycle crash statistics for the Fairfax County Police Department.

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So in that instance are cyclists being called pedestrians or motorists?
When riding on on a trail or sidewalk bicyclists "shall have all the rights and duties of a pedestrian under the same circumstances." (46.2-904). The code also states that "a bicycle shall be a vehicle while operated on the highway." (46.2-100) and every person riding a bicycle "on a highway shall be subject to the provisions of this chapter and shall have all of the rights and duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle, unless the context of the provision clearly indicates otherwise." (46.2-800)

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