The rights and rules of the road apply to both cyclists and
motorists. The rights of cyclists must be upheld through the legal system and
the laws affecting safe bicycling must be fairly and consistently enforced.
However, some cyclists believe that motorists are not penalized for violating
cyclist right-of-way and that, consequentially, data systems assign fault to
cyclists in crashes. Data on high-risk crash locations and public support
for enforcement efforts are important for good legislation and for getting law
enforcement and the courts to uphold the laws and regulations that discourage
Strategy #1 Improve the collection and quality
of data concerning bicycle crash incidents, including both traffic and non-traffic
- Evaluate the accuracy of currently collected law enforcement and injury
data with respect to completeness and recording of elements of the causal
chain that led to the crash.
- Evaluate the federal and state requirements that pertain to how information
about bicycle involvement in crashes is recorded on crash report forms.
- Assess the usefulness of existing data reporting systems in tracking incidents
and injuries involving bicycles.
- Employ community needs assessment and other tools to make recommendations
for improvements in data collection procedures.
- Create model forms, procedures, and tools to implement recommendations.
- Disseminate findings and encourage jurisdictions to improve their data collection
procedures and practices.
Strategy #2 Create
tools that help law enforcement officers enforce bicycle-safety traffic laws
aimed at bicyclists and motorists.
- Draft model crash investigation protocols, daily roll call presentations,
and bicycle safety enforcement tools that can be adapted by law enforcement
- Disseminate models to local police departments and sheriffs' departments
and encourage them to incorporate bicycle safety content into standard procedures.
- Publicize effective enforcement practices and models in law enforcement
magazines and trade journals.
- Identify internal change agents (including law enforcement on bicycles)
and support their efforts to influence other officers.
- Conduct an advocacy campaign for law enforcement executives.
Strategy #3 Promote
the most promising enforcement efforts at those local sites where they are likely
to be effective.
- Identify and evaluate new and existing efforts to improve bicycle safety
enforcement, such as targeting intersections with high incidents of bicycle-motor
vehicle conflicts and high-risk bicycle-endangering behaviors (including speeding).
- Disseminate effective practices to law enforcement agencies and professional
- Encourage local law enforcement agencies to implement successful bicycle
safety enforcement practices.
- Promote increased, accurate media coverage of bicycle crashes.
- Build local coalitions of safe bicycling advocates and law enforcement agencies
to promote strategic law enforcement.
Strategy #4 Encourage
the court system to follow through on bicycle safety enforcement by imposing
meaningful penalties for both motorist and bicyclist violations.
- Investigate how courts are currently adjudicating bicycle-related incidents.
- Evaluate the availability and adequacy of bicycle-related data and reporting
systems used by courts.
- Disseminate effective practices to court professionals and organizations.
- Establish a "bicycle court" model that addresses infractions involving bicyclists.