Santa Maria Police will step up its bike and pedestrian safety enforcement operations Thursday.

The department has mapped out locations where pedestrian and bike collisions have occurred over the past three years, along with violations that led to those crashes. 

Officers will be looking for violations made by drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians. Special attention will be paid to drivers speeding, making illegal turns, failing to stop for signs and signals, failing to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks or any other dangerous violation.

Police will also be on the lookout for pedestrians crossing the street illegally or failing to yield to drivers who have the right of way. Pedestrians should cross the street only in marked crosswalks or at corners.

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Bike riders will be stopped and citations issued if they fail to follow the same traffic laws as motorists. Riders are reminded to always wear a helmet. By law, those under 18 years old must wear a helmet.

Funding for this program is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. 

Gina Kim covers crime and courts for Santa Maria Times. Follow her on Twitter @gina_k210

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