High visibility safety campaign undertaken in seven Michigan cities
Overtime mobilization grants have been awarded to law enforcement agencies in seven Michigan cities – Detroit, Dearborn, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Lansing, Muskegon, and Warren – concentrating enforcement efforts from September 9 through September 15. The grants will focus on the laws applicable to bicyclist safety to help reduce bicyclist injuries and fatalities. The Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP) has identified these cities as having some of the highest number of bicycle-involved crashes over a five-year period.
“Motorists need to remember that bicyclists have an equal right to the road,” said Michael L. Prince, OHSP director. “When passing a bicyclist, it’s state law to give them at least three feet while doing so. Everyone needs to obey traffic signs and signals and stay alert for each other.”
Between 2015-2019, bicycle crash data for the seven Michigan cities show: Detroit with a total of 868 crashes; Grand Rapids with a total of 414; Lansing with a total of 213; Kalamazoo with a total of 194; Warren with a total of 151; Dearborn with a total of 116, and Muskegon with a total of 79.
Over the last five years, 137 people have been killed in bicyclist-involved crashes in Michigan.
Officers during this campaign will be on the lookout for violations by drivers that include: illegal turns, failing to stop at a signal or stop sign, failing to give at least three feet when passing a bicyclist, and blocking a roadway that interferes with the normal flow of traffic. Officers will also be looking for violations by bicyclists that include: not riding with traffic, not using lights when biking at night, and riding more than two abreast.
The enforcement campaign is supported with federal traffic safety funds provided by the U.S. Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and coordinated by the OHSP.