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MADB – Sacramento

Sacramento has joined Santa Rosa in the War Against Drunk Cyclists.

CHP officers last week charged seven bicyclists with riding under the influence during a one-night crackdown in Sacramento.

CHP has received State and Federal grants for this program targeting the Drunk Cyclist Menace.

How serious a problem is this?

When asked whether this was an effective use of police time, Quintero says absolutely.

“You can have severe injuries and or death when you have bicyclists” collide with cars, he says. “When we get these individuals off the streets, we’re also protecting the community.

For police departments looking to ramp up DUI arrest numbers, bicyclists are an easy target. Police know that anyone leaving a bar at 2am on a bicycle is somebody who probably just had his driver’s license suspended for DUI.

In California, the law does not distinguish between bikes and cars. Even though a bicycle weighs thousands of pounds less than an automobile, the violator will still have to pay thousands in court costs to local and State government — making this program a nice revenue generator.

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MADB

fat_tire_labelThe Good News: Santa Rosa (CA) received a half million dollar grant to promote bicycle and pedestrian safety.

The Bad News: The police dept. focus will be drunk bicyclists.

The two outreach specialists have already been hired from within the police department, Schlief said, and they will be organizing events ranging from presentations to schools and senior citizen groups to a community education “summit.” The $470,000 program’s chief aim, he said, is to reduce injuries, keep bicycle or pedestrian fatalities to zero and raise community awareness. It will also target bicycling under the influence of alcohol or drugs, which he termed a growing problem.

I’d love to see the SWITRS data showing drunk cyclists as a top safety threat to road users in Santa Rosa.

Meanwhile, here is what Petaluma will be doing with its $200k safety grant:

This grant project will target DUI offenders, specifically habitual DUI offenders, and speeding violations, with and emphasis on motorcycle speeding violations, by using laser radar units. “This will be done through the sobriety checkpoints, warrant service operations, DUI probation and parole checks, stakeouts of habitual DUI offenders and court stings targeting DUI offenders with suspended or revoked licenses who get behind the wheel after leaving court,” Savano said.

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