The Public Works Department is excited to announce its 2023 Transportation Safety Campaign. Each month in 2023 will focus on a different transportation safety theme, from driving the speed limit and obeying stop signs to safe school drop-off and respecting cyclists.
Under the campaign slogan – We watch out for each other – the campaign aims to teach all road users how to travel safely and keep each other safe on Beverly Hills streets. This slogan is meant to convey the community’s strong sense of pride in their city and support for their Beverly Hills neighbors, friends, and businesses. Sometimes the stress of traffic can distract from this, so the slogan is meant to remind residents that their care for one another translates to their personal actions on the roads, as well.
As May is National Bike Month, the May campaign theme is bicycle safety. The City reminds cyclists, “Take center stage! People bicycling may use the full lane.” People on bikes are allowed to use the full travel lane if it is not wide enough for a bike and a car to travel safely side-by-side. People driving should yield to people on bikes that are riding in the travel lane.
The City reminds drivers, “Give 3 feet when passing on the street.” When passing a cyclist that is using the full travel lane, always give at least three feet between your car and the person riding. If you cannot give at least three feet, change travel lanes to pass or remain behind the cyclist. These actions give cyclists enough space to avoid any debris in the roadway and help create a more comfortable riding experience. When passing a cyclist, pass slowly and cautiously.
May is also National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. More information is available at https://www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov/get-materials/motorcycle-safety.
As April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, the April campaign theme is distracted traveling. The City reminds drivers, “It can wait! Keep your phone off the road.” People driving should secure their phones, devices, and any other items that can be distracting in a place that will not interfere with their ability to focus on the road. Regardless of travel mode, people traveling should stay alert to help all road users arrive at their destinations safely.
The March theme is opening car doors after parking on-street. The City reminds drivers: “Look before you open.” When parking your car on the street, look back to your left before you open your car door to check for people biking, walking, or driving. Only open your car door when you have confirmed that the “door zone” is clear of people and vehicles.
The February theme is right-of-way at intersections. The City reminds drivers and cyclists: “Arrive first, go first! Arrive together? Do the "right" thing! Wait for the person on your right to go first.” At a 4-way stop-controlled intersection, the driver or cyclist that gets there first, goes first. If they get there at the same time, the driver or cyclist to the right goes first. Both drivers and cyclists should yield to pedestrians in crosswalks and any other vehicles that were already in the intersection when they arrived.
The City reminds drivers: “What's the rush? Give pedestrians time to cross.” Most traffic signals in Beverly Hills have a pedestrian-head-start phase, which gives pedestrians the right-of-way 5 seconds before the light turns green for drivers. This increases the visibility of people walking and reduces the likelihood of pedestrian-involved collisions. Drivers should watch for pedestrians in the intersection and give them enough space to complete their crossing before turning into their path of travel.
The January theme is pedestrian safety. The City reminds drivers and cyclists: Watch for walkers! Keep an eye out for pedestrians crossing. Per California State law, all intersections are legal crossing points (unless signed otherwise) with or without a marked crosswalk. Drivers and cyclists should look for people crossing at intersections and yield to them. Drivers and cyclists should also come to a complete stop when exiting alleys and look for pedestrians before crossing over the sidewalk.
The City reminds pedestrians: Let’s see eye to eye! Make eye contact with drivers before crossing. People walking should stop, look both ways, confirm drivers see them, and only cross when the street is clear. When available, pedestrians are encouraged to use marked crosswalks to cross the street.
As of January 2023, there is a new California State law in effect that decriminalizes crossing midblock, also known as “jaywalking”. This means that an officer can only cite a pedestrian for this action when a reasonably careful person would realize there is an immediate danger of a collision. Regardless, the City encourages pedestrians to cross at intersections where they are most visible and where other road users expect to see people walking in the street.