Red light runners beware: The Philadelphia Police Department, in conjunction with the Mayor's Office of Transportation and Utilities, on Wednesday announced they'll boost enforcement of bicycle traffic laws through the month of June, according to a release from the Philadelphia Streets Department.
As part of the increased police presence, 12 extra officers will be strategically stationed throughout Center City to make traffic stops and issue citations to those "who need some tough love reminding them to travel safely," the release states.
"When one person doesn’t follow the rules of the road, it starts a domino effect of bad behavior that contributes to making streets unsafe for everyone," said Alex Doty, executive director of the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia.
"Bicyclists are legal road users, just like drivers and walkers, and we recognize that the rules of the road apply to all of us."
But bikers aren't the only ones who should keep their eyes on the road. The crackdown, funded by a $40,000 grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, also applies to pedestrians and drivers.
"While traffic fatalities are near historic lows and accidents involving cyclists have been cut in half over the last 10 years, still, on average, every five hours a pedestrian is hit by car in Philadelphia," Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey said in a statement.
"The economic cost of crashes in Philadelphia exceeds $1 billion every year, and we can hardly begin to calculate the personal costs of these tragedies. Philadelphia Police Department is serious about keeping our walkers, bike riders and drivers safe."
Officers will be targeting the "most dangerous and careless behaviors of all road users" with an eye toward reducing crashes and improving quality of life by increasing awareness of safe riding – and driving –habits.
"We have been working hard to create better facilities for all users and educate Philadelphians on sharing the road safely," Deputy Mayor for Transportation and Utilities Rina Cutler said.
"I’m happy to be partnering with the Philadelphia Police Department to step up enforcement. At end of the day this is about making sure everyone gets home safely."