"Share the Road" education checkpoint

A pilot “Share The Road” educational checkpoint will be set up in Live Oak at East Cliff Drive and 30th Avenue in Santa Cruz, California on Saturday, September 5, 2009, from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. While road users stop at the stop sign, safety information will be distributed describing how motorists and bicyclists can safely “Share The Road.”

The checkpoint will be a collaborative effort between the Santa Cruz County Health Services Agency, the California Highway Patrol, and Ecology Action. As part of the efforts of the Community Traffic Safety Coalition and through a grant from the state Office of Traffic Safety, funded through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the checkpoint is part of a program designed to increase public awareness about the rules and responsibilities for both bicyclists and motorists.

The checkpoint will be modeled on those coordinated by the Marin County Bicycle Coalition with the goal of promoting safety, mutual respect, and fair and equitable enforcement of the rules of the road for all modes of transportation. The focus will be on utilizing existing law enforcement and health services resources to promote the “Share The Road” message through awareness, education and enforcement.

“Our goal will be to raise the awareness for both motorists and bicyclists that sharing the road can only be achieved through a shared responsibility,” says Captain Christina Manriquez of the California Highway Patrol. “This includes being predictable, courteous and utilizing defensive techniques while following all traffic laws.”

We all know that motorists become impatient when bicyclists run stop signs. And bicyclists become angered when a vehicle passes them too closely. To help ease these tensions and promote mutual respect and safety, this pilot checkpoint will emphasize the need for road users to be even more diligent now that many of our children will be walking and bicycling to school.

Any motorist or bicyclist stopping at the checkpoint will be given an educational handout to help explain their legal rights and responsibilities on the road. All road users will be encouraged to obey all traffic laws. Using their discretion, officers will cite or warn traffic violators for any offenses observed. The educational checkpoint is intended to raise community awareness, reduce collisions and promote safety.

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