The law enforcement community is a critical partner in bicycle safety and education. Police efforts can make a significant contribution in building our communities’ ability to guarantee that all road users are treated equally, and that bicyclists are afforded the same rights and are held to the same responsibilities as all vehicular traffic.
To that end, These Guys has built a course specifically for law enforcement officers. The course includes both classroom and on-bike experiences. In the classroom, discussion of the “three E’s of traffic safety” (engineering, education, enforcement), plus newer E’s (equality, encouragement and evaluation), is facilitated by League Cycling Instructors (LCIs), including an active police officer who is also a bicycle racer and LCI.
The focus in the classroom modules is on engineering and enforcement. Some of the topics covered:
- Title 39, definitions and application: What are the key portions of Title 39 that should be top-of-mind?
- Title 39, inconsistencies: Where are the potential problems in the motor vehicle code?
- Common cyclist infractions: What laws are bicyclists most likely to break?
- Common motorist infractions: What laws are motorists most likely to ignore/be ignorant of as regards bicyclists?
- Bicycle crash investigation: What can you learn from the bike, even if the rider is not present? What should you look for (and where) to gain insight into the factors and behaviors that led to the crash?
The on-bike portion includes two major components: hazard avoidance maneuvers and road ride. The hazard drills are done in a parking lot to show officers how citizens are trained to avoid dangerous moves by motorists. The road ride is crafted to include low- and high-density roads, with and without infrastructure (as available, and custom-designed for each site). The road ride helps officers understand Title 39 from the bike’s-eye view, bringing a different perspective to the importance and application of traffic law.
Depending on the breadth of material covered, the classroom modules require up to about three and a half hours of instructional time. This portion can accommodate any number of officers. The on-bike portion requires up to three and a half hours as well. It is done in smaller groups, however, to allow time for instruction in the hazard drills, for adequate monitoring and safety.