Santa Ana Community Program Gives Free Lights And Helmets to Bicyclists

Luces Vivas! Lights Alive! shares bicycle and pedestrian safety with the Santa Ana community / Nikki Nelsen / el Don

Luces Vivas! Lights Alive! a community-based program operated by Santa Ana Active Streets, travels throughout Santa Ana providing classes, free lights and helmets to foster a safe environment to the local community and its bicyclists.

The program received a grant May this year from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

“We got contracted by the city to implement the program and we have been doing it all over Santa Ana, including parts of Costa Mesa and Villa Park,” said Ed Santos, a representative from the program.

In the city of Santa Ana, there were more than 150 bicyclist-related collisions where victims were either injured or killed, according to COTS 2014 rankings – 14 of these collisions involving a victim under the age of 15.  Almost 200 pedestrian collisions were recorded for that year as well, with Santa Ana leading the county in pedestrian-related incidents with victims under the age of 15.

The representative arrived at Santa Ana College Wednesday Sept. 13, where his lights came to life. Bright red and blue lights illuminated the corner of Bristol and 17th streets as Santos shared safety precautions and supplies, such as helmets and bicycle lights, with passing pedestrians and bikers who agreed to fill out a quick survey regarding pedestrian safety.

“We want to make sure that we are keeping our people safe as they are walking on the streets. A lot of the time, drivers do not really see pedestrians, so I have been advising people to put it on there backpacks, bags and their belt loops,” Santos said.

To find more information and to attend various events including bike rides go to www.santa-ana.org/bike

Additional reporting by Timothy Bravo