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::  Law Enforcement and Bicycle Safety
  Intro | Common beliefs | Officer Training | List of instructors | Conclusion




Challenges to taking action. (Common Beliefs)

Police have better things to worry about: terrorism, gangs, crashes, and crimes-what's the big deal? Why bring bicycles into this?
  • Law Enforcement must also include PREVENTION. Anticipating high-risk behaviors that can lead to terrorism, gang behavior, crimes, and crashes, INCLUDING crashes involving BICYCLES is part of their mission.
  • A bicycle is considered a vehicle and is bound by the same laws as other vehicles, e.g. riding with traffic, obeying red lights and stop signs.
  • Motorists must treat a bicyclist with the same respect as other motorists.

Police Officers are already overworked - why give these folks more to worry about? There are only so many hours in a day and they can be better spent.
  • Knowledge leads to thinking about every day in a different light. In this case, it means greater awareness of situations that could lead to a crash. Since bicyclists are more vulnerable if they are hit--- no safety belt, no steel exterior to take the brunt of a hit-safe behavior is essential.
  • With more knowledge, police can incorporate the laws as they apply to their everyday activity in law enforcement and direct bicyclists and motorists to safer behaviors that can prevent crashes.

What are you asking a police officer to do--- ticket a kid?
  • Most enforcement actions do not result in a citation. Law enforcement officers are trained to use the least amount of force necessary to gain compliance with the law. Enforcement options include; positive reinforcement, verbal and written warnings and yes, finally citations.
  • Tickets are seldom effective in changing a child's behavior, especially young children. A firm reminder about the rules of the road from an officer is generally sufficient.

Adults aren't wearing helmets- I didn't wear a helmet when I was a kid--- it should be up to the parents to decide; Government and law enforcement should stay out of it.
  • Bicycling is not unreasonably dangerous but it is not without its risks. Regardless of the law in your area, bicycle helmets do save lives and prevent traumatic brain injury (TBI).
  • According to National Institutes of Health (NIH), each case of TBI costs $125,000 in rehabilitation, social services, insurance and other disability costs. These are costs we all have to pay because someone did not put a bicycle helmet on AND wear it correctly.

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