A Santa Maria Police Department operation planned for Tuesday will add extra officers in an effort to reduce injuries and deaths attributed to pedestrian and bicycle collisions in certain parts of the city. 

The operation is one of at least 50 more operations funded by a $260,000 grant provided by the California Office of Traffic Safety and one of at least several more focusing on bike and pedestrian safety that will be conducted over the next 12 months. 

During the operation, officers will be looking out for violations made by drivers, bike riders and pedestrians in certain locations in the city where collisions have occurred, said Santa Maria Police Chief Phil Hansen. 

The locations were selected by Santa Maria Police based on more than 228 injury collisions over the last three years involving pedestrians and bicyclists, and resulting in four deaths, Hansen said. 

Special attention will be directed toward drivers speeding, making illegal turns, failing to stop for signs and signals, failing to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks or any other dangerous violation.

Additionally, enforcement will be taken for observed 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.

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Public Safety Reporter

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