The San Francisco Police Department is once again going after cyclists. The announcement, made yesterday, details a department-wide plan to ticket bikers in what officials describe as high-injury areas. In an interesting twist, this time around pedestrians are also to be on the receiving end of citations.
[Officers] will cite for violations when pedestrians cross the street illegally or fail to yield to drivers who have the right of way. Bike riders will be stopped and citations issued when they fail to follow the same traffic laws that apply to motorists. All riders are reminded to always wear a helmet – those under 18 years of age must wear helmets by law. Pedestrians should cross the street only in marked crosswalks or at corners.
The victim-blaming crackdown, which is scheduled to take place today and several other days this month, is reminiscent of past efforts by Park Station Captain John Sanford to ticket cyclists on the Wiggle. His campaign led to a series of protests along the popular bicycle route, with people on bikes coming to a full and complete stop at every stop sign — jamming up traffic in the process.
The locations of today’s enforcement action are unknown, with SFPD saying only that officers had “mapped locations over the past 3 years where pedestrian and bike collisions have occurred along with the violations that led to those crashes.”
Interestingly, SFPD appears to have learned at least one thing since the widely criticized 2015 crackdown. Namely, this time around the department is going after drivers as well. “Special attention will be directed toward drivers speeding, making illegal turns, failing to stop for signs and signals, failing to yield to pedestrians in cross walks or any other dangerous violation,” the announcement clarifies.
[Photo: San Francisco Bicycle Coalition]