Enforcing traffic laws and regulating bicyclists, motorists, and other roadway users is a key element for ensuring a safe and healthy bicycling environment. Enforcement programs can be used to educate roadway users about the traffic laws that govern them; serve as periodic reminders to obey traffic rules; encourage safer behaviors; and monitor and protect public spaces. They can also help reinforce and support educational programs and messages.
For many communities, the first step for building an enforcement program lies in reviewing and modifying laws and policies affecting bicyclists. It is critical that effective procedures are in place for handling violators and for training law enforcement officers.
The term "enforcement" is not limited to law officers issuing tickets. Enforcement activities can involve a variety of "carrots and sticks" to encourage certain behaviors and deter others. Enforcement activities can be carried out by many different community groups, from parents and employers to neighborhood associations to law enforcement agencies. Developing partnerships for law enforcement is a key component of a successful and lasting enforcement program.