Phx Police recommend officers be trained in bicycle law

More vindication to this story that began in January 2020 cyclists-stay-to-the-LEFT? where, if you will recall, the bicyclist was incorrectly ticketed with an AFRAP (As Far Right As Practicable, 28-815) violation, and found responsible at trial, and dismissed on appeal in February 2021. The facts of the case were plain and undisputed: the bicyclist’s alleged violation was for not being AFRAP while stopped at a red light.

The bicyclist subsequently filed a complaint against various actors involved the investigation with the Phoenix Police’s Professional Standards Bureau.

The results of that investigation, while finding no disciplinary violations occurred it did conclude that:

… It was apparent the officers listed in your complaint did not have a proper understanding of Arizona Revised Statute (ARS) 28-815 which pertains to bicyclists.

PSB is treating your complaint as a training issue and has requested the Department’s Training Bureau to implement a course of instruction pertaining to this statute and bicyclists to officers assigned to Patrol and the Traffic Bureau.

Jeri L Williams, Chief of Police
Dennis Orender, Commander PSB 

letter to complainant dated 9/28/2021

Well hallelujah. While it’s difficult to get rid of bias, whether it be implicit or explicit, training is the first step towards understanding the law. How the Phoenix Police department follows up is unknown, but will need to be closely watched.

Here are some documents:

Some resources for law enforcement training

It’s long been suspected that Arizona does not properly train prospective law enforcement officers in traffic law or safety specifically as it relates to bicyclists; giving only lip service to the statutes. The entity responsible for such training throughout Arizona is the AZPOST — The Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training Board. Attempts to obtain copies of their training materials (they should be public record, right?) haven’t gone anywhere beyond an outline; but there is some documentation obtained by the Coaltion of Arizona Bicyclists here.

There are many, many resources developed to train law enforcement officers — here are a few:

ABEA’s video Understanding Cyclists’ Position on the Roadway: For our friends in law enforcement goes in-depth on the topic; it is not AZ-specific but gives equivalent UVC codes which are incorporated into Arizona law.

Coalition of Arizona Bicyclists Law Enforcement Training co-developed by Glendale Police Department and the Coalition — a good, but brief high-level overview of all bicycle laws / traffic safety

BICYCLE LAW ENFORCEMENT Enforce Laws with Mutual Respect by Kirby Beck

3 thoughts on “Phx Police recommend officers be trained in bicycle law”

  1. Thank you Bikelaw. I’ve watched that ABEA video, and it’s fantastic. All cyclists should watch and understand it!

  2. Wonderful! I’ll never forget the day an officer stopped my wife and me for riding two abreast on Roosevelt Ave (because bike lane was blocked, or course). As I tried to politely explain the ARS they told me I was being “stupid and dangerous” and should “get out of the street”.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *