Chicago Police Say It Loud: Bikes Belong

Traffic Enforcement for Bicyclist Safety from Chicago Bicycle Program on Vimeo.

This amazing video, via Chicago Bicycle Advocate, was produced for the Chicago Police Department to educate drivers, cyclists and officers on traffic laws pertaining to bikes.  Given that the LAPD is revising its teaching methods for how it enforces traffic laws on cyclists this video should be required viewing down at Parker Center.

Considering the disregard and hostility often projected by Los Angeles's Finest, that such videos exist (San Francisco has one too) is remarkable enough. But here, interspersed with horror stories from civilian cyclists, we have actual police officers -- close to a dozen are listed in the credits -- instructing their colleagues not just to enforce the law, but to treat bike riders with respect as rightful users of the road.

After a primer on how to fill out cyclist-involved crash reports, for example, the narrating officer gives advice on cyclist interviews. Given that a cyclist may be suffering from shock after a crash, he says: "You may need to follow up the next day, or talk with them after a trip to the emergency room." Imagine.

Does anyone know of other U.S. cities with similar police training materials? Will Angelenos ever see the day when an LAPD officer publicly says something like, "The public counts on us to keep the roads safe, and to protect those who are at the greatest risk"?

(editor's note: I leaned heavily on the text provided in the NYC Streetsblog coverage of this video in writing, but the opinions expressed in this piece about L.A. are mine and should not have been attributed to our NYC staff.  That mistake was my mistake.)