Story and photos by Kyle Wasson
Bicyclists and jaywalkers beware: Tucson Police Department has increased its enforcement of cycling and jaywalking violations on Fourth Avenue.
After receiving a $44,000 grant from the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, TPD is looking to improve bicycle and pedestrian safety in the city.
If you visit Fourth Avenue, you’ll spot officers strategically placed at stop signs and crosswalks. They’re seeking to ensure that bicyclists follow traffic laws and that pedestrians cross the street safely.
Arizona law ARS 28-0793 outlines various jaywalking infractions. Violations carry a fine of $161 per offense. Key requirements for pedestrians include:
- Use marked crosswalks or roadway intersections when crossing streets downtown and in all business districts.
- Cross the street only when the green light for traffic runs parallel to the crosswalk.
Tucson police have said they are specifically targeting reckless jaywalking in front of traffic.
Bicyclists must follow the same traffic regulations as motor vehicle drivers. Key regulations for bicyclists include:
- Give hand signals when turning or stopping.
- Ride in the same direction as traffic.
- Stop for red lights and stop signs.
- Don’t ride on sidewalks.
- Have a working headlight and rear reflector when riding at night.
Pima Community College student Martin Halstead said he will be careful to obey all statutes.
“I ride my bike to school and work every day,” he said. “I’ll definitely be on the lookout. I can’t afford that fine!”
Halstead said he disagrees with increased police enforcement. “I’d rather see our state’s money being spent on making our streets more bike and pedestrian friendly.”
Thom Reynolds, an Arizona native and Fourth Avenue resident, echoed that opinion.
“I believe this is simply an example of “pro-car/anti-cyclist” bias on behalf of our state,” Reynolds said. “We can focus our money in a better direction.”
The state grant also calls for preventative safety education. Tucson police are working with the Tucson-Pima County Bicycle Advisory Committee, which provides free classes in safe bicycling. For class schedules, visit http://biketucson.pima.gov.
For more information on state laws regarding traffic violations and jaywalking, visit the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety website, www.azgohs.gov. Additional information is available on the Arizona Bike Law Blog, www.azbikelaw.org.