Santa Monica Crosswalk

Getting Around Safely

Remember to keep attentive and focused on your surroundings whether traveling through Santa Monica by car, train or foot. When riding Santa Monica’s accessible bikes and scooters, riders are required to respect the rules of the road and ensure their safety. Make sure to review the appropriate regulations and view a list of safety resources, including essential information for police, firefighters and hospitals.

Santa Monica Crosswalk with Pedestrians
Safety Tips


  • Although pedestrians have the right-of-way at crosswalks, use caution and make eye contact with drivers to make sure they have seen you and are stopping their vehicle.
  • Texting or wearing headphones or earbuds and listening to music while walking impedes your hearing and can be distracting.
  • Pedestrians may only cross in marked crosswalks. Crossing outside of a marked crosswalk—jaywalking—is an offense that can result in a police ticket for violations.
  • Only cross with the green light or when the “walk” sign is activated. Pedestrian scrambles are in operation throughout Downtown Santa Monica. At these intersections, a pedestrian-only phase is included in the signal light cycle, allowing people on foot and bikes to cross in every direction, including diagonally, at the same time.
  • Use extra care when crossing with children. Remember, drivers may not see little ones; hold their hands while crossing.
  • Don’t assert the right of way with a fast-moving vehicle. Allow vehicles enough time to stop.
Santa Monica Bike Path
Wheeling Around Safely


  • Pay attention and stay alert.
  • Always wear a helmet. (Riders under 18 must wear a helmet by law.) Santa Monica Travel & Tourism’s three Visitor Information Centers offer free “one-size-fits-most” helmets plus free helmet recycling.
  • Obey all traffic laws and signals. Stop at stop signs and red lights.
  • Riding against traffic is illegal and dangerous. Ride on the right side of the road, with traffic, and use the bike lane where available.
  • Use hand signals and eye contact to communicate with motorists, other bicyclists, and pedestrians.
  • Make yourself visible to drivers, especially at night. Use lights and reflectors and wear bright clothing.
  • At pedestrian scramble crossings, ride across when the bicycle-specific traffic signal lights up with a green bike symbol.
Getting Around Safely


  • Santa Monica is an active city. Stay focused on the road at all times.
  • Drivers and passengers must always wear seat belts. Children under 8 years old and shorter than 4 foot 9 inches must use a safety seat.
  • Pedestrians have the right-of-way at crosswalks. Flashing red lights indicate drivers must stop. Always wait for pedestrians to safely cross.
  • When parking, keep your valuables out of sight or take them with you.
  • Except at pedestrian scrambles when the “walk” light is on, or when posted, drivers can turn right at a red light after reaching a complete stop as long as traffic is clear. 
  • Cars are not permitted in bus lanes except to make right turns, which are restricted during peak periods.
  • Obey posted speed limits.
  • Drivers are required to pull over for law enforcement and emergency vehicles with lights and sirens on.
  • Don’t text or handle your phone while driving—it’s against the law and it increases the likelihood of a collision 23.2 times over unimpaired driving.
Santa Monica Metro Station
Metro Tips

Riding the Rail

  • Always keep your distance from a train in motion. Stay away from the edge of the platform, never run after or next to a moving train and wait for the train to come to a full stop before approaching.
  • Hold onto your children when a train approaches to prevent them from getting too close to the tracks.
  • Don’t skate or ride your bicycle on the platform, stairs or escalators.
  • When boarding, be careful when crossing the gap between the platform and train.
  • Stand clear of the train doors; touching them or leaning on them could obstruct their movement.
  • Never climb railroad vehicles or walk on the tracks.
  • Be mindful of lowered crossing gates. Never try to beat the train by going around the gates. Instead, wait for them to rise after the train passes.
  • As a pedestrian, look and listen for trains in all directions.
Ride Safely


  • Helmets are required for riders under 18 years of age. Santa Monica Travel & Tourism’s three Visitor Information Centers offer free “one-size-fits-most” helmets plus free helmet recycling.
  • Riding with more than one passenger on the scooter is prohibited.
  • Motorized scooters must be driven on the road, never on the sidewalk, and cannot be parked on the sidewalk in the way of pedestrian traffic. Riders must follow traffic rules.
  • Motorized scooters are not permitted on the beach bike paths, Santa Monica Pier, Third Street Promenade or in municipal parks including Palisades Park.
  • Night use of motorized scooters lacking proper lighting equipment is illegal.
Travel Santa Monica Responsibly

Travel safely and sustainably to help maintain Santa Monica’s beauty while staying healthy with these tips.


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