The big name of course was local Olympian Kristin Armstrong. Along with a cast including a politico, paramedic, fireman, construction worker, and others, she made the pitch for bike safety. The bikers formed the backdrop for the message and to their credit nearly everyone wore a helmet.
Meanwhile, Boise’s Top Copper Mike Masterson, sent word to his coppers encouraging them to “educated and enforce if necessary” the bike laws.
Here is the official word to the coppers from the BPD Chief:
In addition to your ongoing enforcement initiatives, I’m reminding all sworn personnel to take every opportunity to educate citizens on bicycle safety, whether they be motorists or cyclists. When you see a motorist violate a traffic law that may endanger a cyclist, or if you observe a cyclist make one of the following violations, if you are not en route to a priority/emergency call, please stop and address their behavior warn citizens their behavior is against the law and subjects them to possible injury.
Despite recent collisions that have killed three cyclists in the last six weeks, a good number of cyclists continue riding behaviors that are not only dangerous, but against City and State laws.
“If we can better educate cyclists that their riding in a way that’s dangerous, hopefully we can prevent future collisions and injuries,” said Chief Masterson.
“Boise officers have worked with local media in presenting dozens of news stories recently detailing bike safety laws and related motorist responsibilities. But officers, including myself, continue to see cyclists riding against traffic and breaking other laws. We also know more cyclists are on the road and many may be new, trying to save money on gas or help the environment. Some of these cyclists may not be aware their riding is dangerous and illegal,” said Chief Masterson.
“You see much more of this behavior when you’re actually focused on looking for it. So that’s what I’m asking officers to increase, is their own awareness of this problem, and to remind officers that we, as our community’s police department, have the responsibility and authority to immediately begin doing more about it.” said the Chief.
MOST COMMON CYCLING VIOLATIONS OBSERVED by BOISE BIKE OFFICERS:
EDUCATION vs ENFORCEMENT: As always, police officers have the discretion, considering the overall circumstances of any give instance, to chose to give a verbal warning or write a citation to an offender. Several factors may influence an officers decision, for example if the behavior is repeated or egregious, or if the officers has reason to believe a verbal warning will not gain voluntary compliance in the future. Officers want to educate the public, but citizens should know, offenders of traffic violations always risk a citation…which translates to, “attitude and behavior adjustments can be verbal warnings or tickets.”
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