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-   -   Undercover bike officers target unsafe drivers < San Antonio TX (http://www.bikeforums.net/advocacy-safety/874832-undercover-bike-officers-target-unsafe-drivers-san-antonio-tx.html)

Creakyknees 02-25-13 10:13 PM

Undercover bike officers target unsafe drivers < San Antonio TX
 
Very cool to see:

http://www.woai.com/mostpopular/stor...d1LBbXAAw.cspx


"SAN ANTONIO - Undercover officers are targeting unsafe drivers in a sting operation, to enforce the city's "Safe Passing" ordinance.

The law requires vehicles to pass with three feet of space or move into another lane when approaching a cyclist, pedestrian, runner or even highway or utility workers.

Two officers geared up and rode through downtown Thursday afternoon, heading south toward Roosevelt. Officers in a marked and unmarked car closely followed, to keep an eye on the officers and watch out for drivers who weren't passing safely.

The officers patrol the streets every day, experiencing the dangers firsthand.

"It's a scary thing because they have this vehicle that's $2,000 pounds and I'm on this 20-30 pound bike. My life is in their hands," Officer Roger Zuniga said."

B. Carfree 02-25-13 10:58 PM

The officers' experiences will likely be more valuable to the local cycling community than the tickets they issue during this sting.

Chris516 02-25-13 11:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Creakyknees (Post 15317375)
Very cool to see:

http://www.woai.com/mostpopular/stor...d1LBbXAAw.cspx


"SAN ANTONIO - Undercover officers are targeting unsafe drivers in a sting operation, to enforce the city's "Safe Passing" ordinance.

The law requires vehicles to pass with three feet of space or move into another lane when approaching a cyclist, pedestrian, runner or even highway or utility workers.

Two officers geared up and rode through downtown Thursday afternoon, heading south toward Roosevelt. Officers in a marked and unmarked car closely followed, to keep an eye on the officers and watch out for drivers who weren't passing safely.

The officers patrol the streets every day, experiencing the dangers firsthand.

"It's a scary thing because they have this vehicle that's $2,000 pounds and I'm on this 20-30 pound bike. My life is in their hands," Officer Roger Zuniga said."

While I definitely like the fact that the police there, are actually enforcing the ordinance, I got a laugh from '$2,000 pounds'. For a 1-Ton vehicle, one should know if they are going to charge dollars, or pounds......lol:lol:

MMACH 5 02-26-13 09:34 AM

Dallas is toying with a vulnerable road user ordinance. If it gets passed, I'd like to see some efforts in enforcing it so I hope this gets some traction.

In one of our local cycling forums, a Dallas bike cop is a regular poster and he will tell you that he gets treated completely differently riding in uniform as opposed to riding in street clothes. Not really surprising but this story made me think about his tales of how polite and accommodating drivers are, when he's got a badge on his chest. :)

dynodonn 02-26-13 09:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MMACH 5 (Post 15318598)
..Not really surprising but this story made me think about his tales of how polite and accommodating drivers are, when he's got a badge on his chest. :)

Yes, yes, I had the same scenario just yesterday when a motorist was tailgating me, then they backed off considerably when an LEO in a patrol car just happen to turn onto the street that the motorist and I were on.

genec 02-26-13 10:07 AM

I like the fact that this is in the news... and that they state that this "sting" operation will be going on for months, and that officers are undercover. That means any cyclist can be seen as an undercover cop in a sting operation, with backup cops. I think motorists in San Antonio are going to be giving cyclists more room.

Now on the flip side... I have to admit that I am incredulous that California and San Diego in particular are not "advanced" enough to have either such a law, nor enforcement, nor even the bike racks shown in the story.

We may have nice bike lanes nearly "everywhere," but these are often on 50MPH+ roads and drivers are still too damn close.

iforgotmename 02-26-13 10:29 AM

Cleveland has a vulnerable road user ordinance but some city employees don't follow nor know anything about it...personal experience. I'd like to see something like this in CLE as a lot of people travel by bicycle within the city.

gecho 02-26-13 10:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by B. Carfree (Post 15317524)
The officers' experiences will likely be more valuable to the local cycling community than the tickets they issue during this sting.

Perhaps every officer as part of their training should be required to spend a few days out riding in traffic. It should certainly be a requirement for anyone applying for a motor vehicle license.

genec 02-26-13 10:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gecho (Post 15318887)
Perhaps every officer as part of their training should be required to spend a few days out riding in traffic. It should certainly be a requirement for anyone applying for a motor vehicle license.

As I have said many times... "Road Use" should be the 4th "R" in our public schools... starting with basic skills on a bike, going to advanced skills on a bike and finally leading to driver's education.

CommuteCommando 02-26-13 01:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by genec (Post 15318756)
I like the fact that this is in the news... and that they state that this "sting" operation will be going on for months, and that officers are undercover. That means any cyclist can be seen as an undercover cop in a sting operation, with backup cops. I think motorists in San Antonio are going to be giving cyclists more room.

Now on the flip side... I have to admit that I am incredulous that California and San Diego in particular are not "advanced" enough to have either such a law, nor enforcement, nor even the bike racks shown in the story.

We may have nice bike lanes nearly "everywhere," but these are often on 50MPH+ roads and drivers are still too damn close.

I think we have visited this before, and I think we are in agreement that SD can be heaven, and it can be hell for cyclists.

It would also be nice if they had uniformed cycle cops educating Salmon, Ninjas and Kamikaze’s. Tickets aren’t necessary, except in the case of egregious Kamikaze’s. Informational literature would do the trick, since most of these behaviors are the product of ignorance, except the Kamikaze’s.

Quote:

Originally Posted by genec (Post 15318931)
As I have said many times... "Road Use" should be the 4th "R" in our public schools... starting with basic skills on a bike, going to advanced skills on a bike and finally leading to driver's education.

The drivers test here in CA (which I have not been required to take in longer than I can remember) is a joke. I do not remember there being much in it about the rights and responsibilities of cyclists.

kmv2 02-26-13 01:34 PM

Texas.. do they ride with bulletproof vests?

Myosmith 02-26-13 01:44 PM

Very cool.

Fargo, ND, also has bicycle PD who have done a lot for education on both sides, the public and other LEOs. I hope the word gets out that any cyclist might be an undercover cop on a traffic sting. Hmmm . . . maybe I'll start a rumor . . .

I-Like-To-Bike 02-26-13 02:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Myosmith (Post 15319642)
Very cool.

Fargo, ND, also has bicycle PD who have done a lot for education on both sides, the public and other LEOs. I hope the word gets out that any cyclist might be an undercover cop on a traffic sting. Hmmm . . . maybe I'll start a rumor . . .

No thanks, you won't be doing any favors for cyclists riding through neighborhoods where the police are not viewed as knights in shining armor.

Notso_fastLane 02-26-13 02:55 PM

Can we get them to do this around Seattle? That would be awesome.

Given the reputation of the various PDs in this area, I suspect they would be in more danger riding in uniform....

genec 02-26-13 04:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CommuteCommando (Post 15319527)
I think we have visited this before, and I think we are in agreement that SD can be heaven, and it can be hell for cyclists.

It would also be nice if they had uniformed cycle cops educating Salmon, Ninjas and Kamikaze’s. Tickets aren’t necessary, except in the case of egregious Kamikaze’s. Informational literature would do the trick, since most of these behaviors are the product of ignorance, except the Kamikaze’s.



The drivers test here in CA (which I have not been required to take in longer than I can remember) is a joke. I do not remember there being much in it about the rights and responsibilities of cyclists.

The drivers license test and drivers manual have both been improved. The test is now harder and may include at least one bicycle related question. However... one question out of about 50 is not about to make a motorist "smart" about sharing the road with cyclists.

atbman 02-26-13 04:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Notso_fastLane (Post 15319904)
Can we get them to do this around Seattle? That would be awesome.

Given the reputation of the various PDs in this area, I suspect they would be in more danger riding in uniform....

On the other hand, Seattle was the first US city in decades to introduce mtb patrolling police, leading to the formation of the International Police Mountain Bike Association, so they can't be all bad.

Myosmith 02-26-13 05:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike (Post 15319760)
No thanks, you won't be doing any favors for cyclists riding through neighborhoods where the police are not viewed as knights in shining armor.

Good point. There are neighborhoods (and some remote rural areas) around where the paranoid tweekers would start thinking every cyclist was a narc. Crap, another perfectly good plan shot to he11 ;)

Matariki 02-26-13 06:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by B. Carfree (Post 15317524)
The officers' experiences will likely be more valuable to the local cycling community than the tickets they issue during this sting.

I agree. The riders will develop perspective that (hopefully) they will share with their colleagues.

rydabent 02-27-13 08:24 AM

Good deal. The more widely it is publicized the safer cyclist will be!!!

rekmeyata 02-27-13 11:30 PM

That's fantastic, I wish more places would do that.

Now I wonder when they'll ticket unsafe cyclists? Cops really need to be fair to the public. Cops can't ticket a driver for getting too close to a cyclist then look the other way when the cyclist runs a red light causing cars to slam on their brakes.

The more unsafe car drivers and unsafe cyclists are ticketed the safer we'll all be.

rydabent 02-28-13 08:13 AM

This so called sting is just fine. It is like the state police putting up a sign on the interstate saying there is a drug check two miles ahead, and there is an interchange turn off a half mile ahead. The idiot drug runners turn off and run right into the hands of a police road block. The police dont even have to chase them.

dougmc 02-28-13 04:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chris516 (Post 15317585)
While I definitely like the fact that the police there, are actually enforcing the ordinance, I got a laugh from '$2,000 pounds'. For a 1-Ton vehicle, one should know if they are going to charge dollars, or pounds......lol:lol:

Not only that, there are very few 2000 lb vehicles. A Smart car is 1600 lbs without fuel or driver, and it's the only modern car that I can think of that's relatively common in the US and weighs less than 2000 lbs. A Mini Cooper is about 2500 lbs.

2500 to 4000 lbs is a better "typical" weight for a car, and still that doesn't include the driver, fuel or cargo, and of course trucks and SUVs weigh even more.

dougmc 02-28-13 04:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rekmeyata (Post 15325818)
Cops can't ticket a driver for getting too close to a cyclist then look the other way when the cyclist runs a red light causing cars to slam on their brakes.

Why can't they?

The police in Austin certainly do it the other way -- they ticket cyclists running red lights when they see it (resulting in hundreds of tickets city wide each year, though I don't have the statistics in front of me), but they've given less than ten tickets total for the 3' passing law that our City Council passed over three years ago -- basically the same thing San Antonio is doing a sting for here.

CB HI 02-28-13 06:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dougmc (Post 15328576)
The police in Austin certainly do it the other way -- they ticket cyclists running red lights when they see it (resulting in hundreds of tickets city wide each year, though I don't have the statistics in front of me), but they've given less than ten tickets total for the 3' passing law that our City Council passed over three years ago -- basically the same thing San Antonio is doing a sting for here.

Come on man, the cyclist haters do not want to hear real facts, it kills their thunder.

B. Carfree 02-28-13 10:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rekmeyata (Post 15325818)
That's fantastic, I wish more places would do that.

Now I wonder when they'll ticket unsafe cyclists? Cops really need to be fair to the public. Cops can't ticket a driver for getting too close to a cyclist then look the other way when the cyclist runs a red light causing cars to slam on their brakes.

The more unsafe car drivers and unsafe cyclists are ticketed the safer we'll all be.

While I don't have a problem with police citing scofflaw cyclists, let's face facts. Motorists kill over 30,000 Americans and maim over a million annually. Cyclists really don't pose anywhere near that level of hazard to other road users. How many people are killed by scofflaw cyclists, other than self-inflicted, per year? Two?

Police departments don't have unlimited resources and should rightfully employ their assets where, when and in a manner that furthers public safety as best they can. At least I hope they are attempting to do that.


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