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Recent summit focus on California bicycle safety initiatives

On Behalf of | Apr 25, 2024 | Bike & Pedestrian Accidents

With more and more people choosing to use bicycles as a primary method of transportation in California and across the nation, there are increasing attempts to ensure they can safely share the road with automobiles. Toward that end, safety advocates and government representatives are working together to find solutions to common dangers.

Recently, San Diego was the site for the 2024 California Bicycle Summit. Various ideas were floated to prevent collisions. Still, the mere fact that this is necessary speaks to the potential for serious injury bicyclists face when taking to the roads. If there is a bike crash, they need to know what they can do to address their future.

Lower speed limits and automated citations were discussed

During the summit, several concepts were floated. One involved installing speed cameras that could issue a summons if the vehicle exceeded the speed limit. Currently, a law enforcement officer must be present to issue the citation.

Speed limits could also be lowered based on a law that would allow for a reduction based on decisions made by local agencies. Limits could be reduced to between 20 to 25 mph, depending on the area. Especially busy areas would be a target for this reduction.

“Vision Zero” is also being implemented in the region. This is a program that has been used in cities across the U.S. with an ambitious goal to prevent all traffic fatalities. To achieve that, San Diego officials are assessing auto accidents, mapping where they occurred and why. Risk factors such as how many lanes of traffic and if the roads are near well-populated residential areas are being analyzed to craft strategies.

These initiatives stem from the worrisome number of bicycle crashes with injuries and loss of life. The National Safety Council’s most recent statistics show that there was a 37% spike in bicycle deaths between 2012 and 2021. In 2021 alone, there were 853 fatalities in a bicycle-auto accident. Regardless of the attempts to enhance safety, riders will always be vulnerable.

After a bicycle accident, knowing how to proceed is vital

Because riders have almost no protection when they are in a bicycle accident, their injuries can be catastrophic. This will result in financial, personal, physical and emotional questions for the injured person and their family. Given the litany of challenges that can arise, it is essential to know how to recover for all that was lost. That may include considering legal options. Having a grasp of what can be effective to maximize compensation is crucial and should be considered from the start.