It is important to get all Law Enforcement Officers properly trained on the rules of the road for drivers of vehicles; and how that affects bicyclists. A constant bone of contention is where-to-ride-on-the-road, and I have several types of (mostly general, not state-specfic) training materials linked there.
Relevant to California, the CHP (California Highway Patrol) has a “secret” document CHP 100.68 Traffic Enformcement Policy Manual, (or link to doc on facebook, group membership required) the portion of which as applies to bicyclists was obtained by a public records request by a CA bicyclist advocate. One has to wonder why a government agency’s document that explains the state police’s interpretation of traffic laws is secret; especially given it contains some blatantly wrong and bad interpretations, like claiming riding is abreast is illegal (note that CA law does NOT proscribe riding abreast); and somehow forgetting to mention the narrow-lane exception. [This same information is reproduced, it’s actually cut-and-pasted, in this newer, not “secret”, document: CHP 2014 National Law Enforcement Challenge; page 14]
Does Arizona’s DPS have such a document?
Arizona LEO training materials
This material was finalized by Glendale PD and the Coalition in 2015:
- Bicyclist Safety and Law Enforcement in Glendale, AZ
See errata, below. This is a 15 minute powerpoint/video intended for law enforcement training.
Prepared by the Coalition of Arizona Bicyclists and the Glendale PD. These materials were based on NC LEO presentation created by BikeWalk NC.
These documents remain in draft state, listed here for posterity:
- Arizona Bicycle Law Enforcement Guide (12-page printable booklet, last updated Feb 2014) (The format of the guide was based on the Florida Bicycle Law Enforcement Guide), and
- [DEPRECATED] Safe Cycling Practices Overview Draft 20140123 , 78 slide presentation (on hold as of mid-2014) was superceded by the Glendale material.
In Arizona, all LEOs must pass through a standard curriculum overseen by AZPOST — The Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training Board.
The first step is to understand what is currently being taught — as such Eric Post received from AZPOST’s Don Yennie what he referred to as ” traffic law lesson plan that is currently being taught through the state in the police academies”. I placed that document here at AZPOST4dot6TrafficLawOutline.doc; and there’s an html version I made for quick reference. This is referred to as section 4.6; and has a total class time of 15 hours.
Anyways i was mostly happy with what it said (it’s just an outline; so not much to grouse about?!) The most obvious complaint is about the “near the right side” rule which was very, ahem, sparse!
Here are my notes on the outline:
- 28-704A says “1. Shall not drive at a speed as to impede or block normal traffic” — i would like it to be pointed out explicitly that this can not apply to bicycles (since it applies specifically to *motor* vehicles). It also needs to be elaborated that the rule, as interpreted, it is NOT an impeding violation for an MV driver to impede others so long as the driver is going as fast as possible for the particular vehicle under the particular circumstances; think: a heavily laden truck, or any of the many other types of vehicles that may be going slower than the normal speed of traffic. This is a normal traffic situation and not a violation.
- 28-701E ditto above (only applies to *motor* vehicles).
- 28-815A says simply “Rider must operate as near to the right side of the road as practical” It is obvious that this is going to cause lots of confusion because none of the conditions (i.e. only applies when less than normal speed of traffic) AND NONE of the many exceptions are even mentioned!!!!! (narrow lane, passing, debris, etc). Oh, and i was sort of pleasantly surprised this was mentioned with regard to 28-815 “The edge of the roadway indicator is not a bike lane (has to be marked)”… though it’s a bit cryptic, it’s apparently a reference to fake bike lanes (edge lines masquerading as a bike lane); plus should be explicitly mentioned that shoulders are not mandatory use for bicyclists (or any driver for that matter).
- This is one of my personal favorite legal topics: In one bit of interpretation — “DUI laws do not apply to bicycles”
- Since the outline can’t say what’s NOT in the law; it should be verified that the future LEOs are apprised, e.g., there are no state laws prohibiting or even regulating sidewalk/crosswalk cycling; and that local regulation is key here, as well as briefly discussing Maxwell.
Random / Other Law Enforcement-specific topics
Kirby Beck has a series of three videos Cyclists and Law Enforcement on vimeo.
Floridabicycle.org put out the video Bicyclists and Roadway Use Covering Florida state laws. Has as distinct law enforcement bent: