‘Share the Road’ checkpoint teaches safety, courtesy among cars, bikes

Motorists out late on any given weekend night may have found themselves being funneled through a DUI checkpoint, during which law enforcement agencies set up to catch people driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Come Labor Day weekend, the Community Traffic Safety Coalition will set up its first ever “Share the Road” checkpoint, where it will hand out informational pamphlets aimed at teaching motorists and bicyclists about their rights and responsibilities on the road. “We all know that motorists become impatient when bicyclists run stop signs,” said Theresia Rogerson, the health services staffer and coalition facilitator. “And bicyclists become angered when a vehicle passes them too closely.” The goal of the checkpoint is to “hopefully raise awareness and education about sharing the road together,” she said. The information comes at a time children are back in school, and may choose to walk or ride their bike to get there. The coalition hopes those who pass through the information checkpoint will use their newfound knowledge accordingly, Rogerson said. The checkpoint will be from 9-11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 5 at the intersection of 30th Avenue and East Cliff Drive. Coalition members, who represent the Santa Cruz County Health Services Agency, California Highway Patrol and Ecology Action, will staff it. People observed committing traffic offenses in the area could be stopped and issued a warning or citation. The event is modeled after a similar program in Marin County that has been successful for some time now, she said. “They do it several times a year throughout the year,” she said. “We thought we’d try it and see how it goes.” If the East Cliff Drive event is successful, the coalition may try to arrange similar educational checkpoints elsewhere in the county with corresponding law enforcement agencies, which also have representatives on the coalition. Formed in 1992 with the support of a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety to the Health Services Agency, the coalition is charged with reducing traffic-related injuries, while promoting alternative modes of transportation and advocating for improved conditions that make all methods of transportation safer.
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