L.A.Ã¢â‚¬â„¢s top cop, Police Chief Charlie Beck, told a group of cycling advocates at a transportation committee meeting this week that help is on the way, and the Los Angeles, California Police Department will be implementing several steps to improve the roads for cyclists in the coming weeks.
Beck called cyclists Ã¢â‚¬Å“our most vulnerable commuters,Ã¢â‚¬Â admitting that the LAPD had to do a better job to protect and encourage cyclists, marking a positive and major advance for cycling.
Assistant Chief Earl Paysinger gave a better idea of what exactly would be implemented in the coming weeks. The initiative will start with a cycling-specific section in department policy, outlining the rights and responsibilities of cyclists for officers to review. A major policy change would set a protocol for officers to follow when dealing with cyclists, meaning riders and cops alike would have a concrete and clear outline of their rights and responsibilities.
Paysinger also mentioned a computer learning program, mandatory for all officers, to better educate them on how to properly deal with cyclists on the road, which he hopes to implement within 45 days.
The LAPD is one of the first major metro police departments in the country to directly communicate with cyclists, and their promise for better conditions for cyclists has the potential to set prescient for the rest of the country to follow.
The announcement came after several advocacy groups organized a ride prior to the transportation committee meeting meant to highlight the need for tougher punishment and enforcement for drivers involved in hit-and-run accidents with cyclists.
Read the full article from the LA Times here.