The Pima County Sheriff’s Department will be increasing their traffic enforcement on Catalina Highway in the coming weeks according to a press release and emails.
According to a press release the department will be targeting both cyclists and motorists on the mountain.
Warmer weather means more citizens will be taking their bicycles out for a spin. We want to make sure motorists and bicycle riders use the roads together in the safest way possible. As an effort to increase safety for all, the Rincon District Office will be increasing traffic enforcement on Mt. Lemmon over the next few weeks. During the initial phase, some warnings will be given in an attempt to curb unsafe driving/riding behavior. As the operation progresses, citations will be issued to both motorists and bicyclists.
However an email circulating on Facebook suggests complaints have increased recently sparking the enforcement.
Here’s the email:
We are getting word that the cyclist/motorist interactions on Mt. Lemmon may be worsening lately due to recent complaints. Our new Commander wants to make sure the mountain remains as safe as possible for everyone so we will have a greater police presence. Hopefully, this may quell a few bike vs car issues. I’m not sure how much of a dent we can make but we will try.
Obviously, the biggest complaints from cyclists have been about aggressive driving.
The number one recent complaint from motorists has been cyclists taking up the roadway. You guys know your traffic laws so I won’t get into that. Motorists are also complaining about aggressive behavior from cyclists,; flipping off, yelling, throwing things at passing cars.
We have been up the hill in a covert capacity recently and found that the vast majority of cyclists are following the rules of the road. Since information flows so fast within the cycling community, we would like to advise those who may be intentionally skirting the law or riding dangerously that law enforcement action may happen in the near future. I ask that you and others spread the word that we will be increasing our presence so that everyone has fair notice. We are hoping a simple reminder and a friendly warning will resolve the majority of the problems. We thought it would be unfair to simply deploy and write tickets on a zero tolerance basis without an education effort first. Thanks for your help in passing the message along.
Deputy J. Iverson
If you’ll be heading up the mountain make sure you are following the rules.