Friday, August 26, 2011

Flagstaff education and directed enforcement effort

There will be a meeting to discuss Flagstaff PD's education and directed enforcement effort:

Flagstaff Police Auditorium
Law Enforcement Administrative Facility, 911 E. Sawmill Road
Sept 1, 2011
6 - 8PM

AzDailySun story.
FMPO stats from 2005-2009 bike-MV crashes.

SPECIAL ORDER 08-23-11 08-23-11 11-015

SUBJECT: Operation Streets Smart

I. OBJECTIVE: To reduce traffic accidents and associated injuries caused by the failure of motorists and bicyclists to obey applicable traffic laws by focusing our efforts on education, public awareness, and enforcement activities. Our goal is to change motorist and bicyclist behavior by increasing awareness of the consequences of car vs. bike crashes and the traffic related offenses that often lead to them.

II. DISCUSSION: Over the past several weeks the Flagstaff Police Department has responded to an increasing number of accidents involving motor vehicles and bicycles. Many of these accidents have resulted in serious physical injury or death to the bicycle rider. The subsequent investigations of these accidents have shown that both the drivers of motor vehicles and bicyclists alike have committed traffic related offenses that were significant causal factors in the accident. With the beginning of the new school year we anticipate that an even greater number of people will be riding bicycles on our city streets. This will increase the potential for injurious accidents between motor vehicles and bicycles.

  1. PROCEDURE: Effective immediately officers assigned to the Patrol Section will proactively enforce traffic offenses committed by both motorists and bicycles that tend to contribute to accidents between the two. Enforcement does not always mean that a citation will be issued to the offender and officer discretion is advised. However, statistics have shown that a traffic citation often has the greatest impact on changing driving behavior. This community policing project will begin on August 23rd and will remain in effect through October 2011. Two uniformed officers assigned to the Selective Enforcement Unit will be assigned, as staffing allows, to conduct intensive bike patrols in “hot spot” areas where we are experiencing a high percentage of car vs. bike accidents. Typically these high visibility bike patrols will be conducted during daylight hours when we can expect the greatest impact from them. The traffic corridors of San Francisco Street and Beaver Street between downtown and NAU are two areas where cars and bikes interface on a frequent basis, particularly when school is in session. Patrol Squad Sergeants will collaborate with the Selective Enforcement Sergeant to staff the bike patrols and provide marked patrol units to assist in enforcement activities as deemed necessary.

The following is a partial list of offenses committed by both motorists and bicyclists that have been determined to cause accidents and/or lead to injuries of involved parties:
  • Bicyclists riding on the sidewalk when prohibited by posted sign. (e.g. downtown area, city ord. 09-05-001-0013A)
  • Bicyclists riding the wrong way in the bike lane. (28-721A)
  • Motorists failing to yield to a bicyclist riding in a designated bike lane (3 foot rule, 28-735A)
  • Motorists and bicyclists failing to come to a complete stop at posted stop signs. (Must stop at painted “stop line” prior to entering intersection.) (28-855B)
  • Motorists and bicyclists failing to stop for red traffic lights. (28-855B or 28-645A3a)
  • Bicyclists under the age of 18 not wearing a helmet. (city ord. 09-04-001-0018A)
  • Motorists exceeding the post speed limit in residential neighborhoods and in designated school zones. (28-701B2 or 28-797F)
  • Bicyclists crossing the roadway in an unsafe manner. (28-729(1)).
  • Motorists failing to yield right of way to bicyclists when making a right turn on a red light/stop sign after a stop. (28-645A3b)
  • Motorists driving in designated bike lanes. (28-815D or city ord. 09-05-001-0017)
  • Bicyclists riding on a sidewalk (where allowed) and failing to yield the right of way to pedestrians or vehicles when crossing driveways. (city ord. 09-05-001-0013B1 & 3)
  • Bicyclists riding at night without a white headlight visible from a distance of at least 500 feet. (city ord. 09-05-001-0007A or 28-817A)
  • More than one rider on a bicycle (unless equipped for additional riders; e.g. tandem bicycle, city ord. 09-05-001-0003B or 28-813B)
  • Following too closely. (28-730A)
  • Motorists failing to stop before crossing sidewalk when emerging from a private driveway or alleyway. (28-856.1)

The Community Relations Sergeant will coordinate the dissemination of educational and safety awareness information to the local media. Additionally the Community Relations Sergeant will keep the public informed as to the progress of this Operation by providing regular updates, via the media, on enforcement activities and educational outreach events. The Community Relations Sergeant will be responsible for communications with the Flagstaff Biking Organization’s Safe Kids Program as well as the Coconino County Safe Kids Coalition.

Josh Copley
Deputy Chief                     

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