Bicycle Law Enforcement
Police play an essential role in supporting bicycle transportation by enforcing the traffic laws that allow all road users to reach their destinations safely. As bicycle travel has grown in popularity, the public has asked law enforcement to become more involved in bicycling issues. This can present challenges for police, because misconceptions about safe bicycling practices and state law are widespread among the public. The Bicyclist Safety and Law Enforcement in-service training program was developed by the Coalition of Arizona Bicyclists in cooperation with the Glendale, AZ police department to provide the most accurate and relevant information available to Arizona police officers. The program covers relevant traffic laws, common crash types and frequency, best bicycling practices, and effective enforcement techniques so that law enforcement officers can be confident when discussing bicycling issues with the public, and can effectively prioritize related enforcement and outreach activities to promote public safety.
This brief e-learning training video that will be used internally for all Glendale Police officers. Most of the material refers to state-wide laws and statistics; and is not specific to Glendale. The material was adapted for use in Arizona by the Coalition from Education Resources for Police created by BikeWalk NC.
Special thanks for Glendale Police personnel for their help in developing and reviewing the presentation: Chief Deborah Black, Detective Dan Mooney, Detective Ted Yoder, Officer Andy Lynes, and narrator Bicycle Officer Brian Ong.
The presentation is available in the following forms
- Youtube video, ~ 18 minutes / presentation with spoken notes (or downloadable .mp4, for offline play, 97MBytes)
- Same as above but video but shortened to ~ 15 minutes by removing some Glendale-specific info.
- downloadable .pdf with slides and notes pages. ~ 3MBytes
The Fruits of Police Training
This is why training law enforcement is so important; beyond sworn officers, dispatchers should be informed as to the laws so as not to waste police resources on such non-issues. Do motorists call police when they are impeded by a slow-moving truck or bus? If they do, are police then dispatched? No, of course not, they would change lanes and pass; problem solved without any police intervention. News Item:
February 4 (2017): Traffic Hazard – 8:33 a.m. — Pacific Coast Highway and Seal Beach Blvd — the caller said approximately 30 bicyclists were taking up the entire no. 2 lane. According to police unit S21, none of the bicyclists were violating any laws. No further law enforcement services were required.
Police undoubtedly found bicyclists were indeed using the entire right-hand lane, and it was narrow; correctly determining this is not a violation, and is in fact the recommended and most safe lane position.