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Friday, October 31 2014 @ 09:04 AM UTC

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Drivers cited for not yielding to officer in traffic cone costume

News you will not see in Maryland[B' Spokes: How they do pedestrian safety in California but not here.]
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More than a dozen motorists were cited for allegedly failing to see an undercover officer dressed as a giant traffic cone during a pedestrian crossing sting. (Riverside County Sheriff's Department)

http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-deputy-traffic-cone-costume-sting-20140814-story.html
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Davidson: Are the City’s New Pedestrian-Safety Measures Strong Enough?

News you will not see in Maryland[B' Spokes: Note that New York's pedestrian fatality rate is ranked at #17 while Maryland is ranked #7 by FARS (Fatality Analysis Reporting System by NHTSA.) The one thing New York has that we don't is: "The police department, too, has reclaimed traffic enforcement as a high priority" ]
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By Justin Davidson, New York Magazine

This should not be controversial: When the light turns green and you step off the curb and into a crosswalk, a car should not whip around the corner at the same time, causing your body to crumple and snap. If that does occur, it shouldn’t be legal. And if it’s illegal, it should be punished. And yet motor vehicles did hit 854 pedestrians all over the city last month, killing eight of them — a run of grief, violence, and horrific injuries that, statistically speaking, makes April a relatively peaceable month. And unless they were high or stoned, the vast majority of those drivers are back on the road. Menace a child with a baseball bat, and you will likely go to jail; kill that kid with an SUV and you’ll pay a few-hundred-dollar fine. Manslaughter by motor vehicle is a perfectly legal crime.

The de Blasio administration and its allies are pushing hard to change that state of affairs, but success will require more than just adjusting stoplights or redesigning intersections; it means transforming an entire culture. We have to recognize that crashes are preventable disasters rather than random events — not accidents at all, but the product of individual decisions. Reckless and distracted driving must become a new taboo.
...

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2014/05/davidson-on-the-small-steps-toward-vision-zero.html
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Motorists fined for overtaking cyclists? It’s about time

News you will not see in MarylandVia The Telegraph

A new proposal from the Department of Transport recommends a 15mph speed limit to help protect cyclists. It's a pedal revolution in the right direction, says Chris Harvey

I admit I was taken aback earlier this week when the Department of Transport released a proposal for designated “cycle streets” in cities.

All too often, the narrative around cycle safety focuses negatively on cyclists' behaviour. Take, for example, MP Kate Hoey (who once labelled cyclists "law-breaking lycra louts"), who now thinks that cyclists should have to pay for safety measures to protect them from motorists. Or Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin's suggestion that cyclists have to "do their bit" to make the roads safer. Even Boris Johnson, who is normally admirably pro-cycling, copped flack from the cycling community after appearing to suggest that a series of fatalities on London's roads was down to "very risky" cycling manoeuvres.

So it's genuinely refreshing to see a proposal that aims to make the roads fundamentally safer for people to use. The plan would see cyclists given priority over motorists on “lightly trafficked roads where cycle flows are high”. A 15mph speed limit would be imposed, along with a potential £100 fine (and three penalty points) for overtaking a cyclist.

Quite frankly, it’s about time this kind of measure was introduced.
...

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/men/active/recreational-cycling/10830450/Motorists-fined-for-overtaking-cyclists-Its-about-time.html
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NYC Opens Traffic Crash Data -- Finally

News you will not see in MarylandAfter years of prodding from safe streets advocates, the New York City Council, and the tech community — not to mention reporters — New York City has finally released comprehensive traffic crash data.

“This is amazing, and more than what we were expecting," said Noel Hidalgo, the head of civic technology group BetaNYC. "The geocoding and integration with the data portal are unexpected and *extremely* pleasant surprises.”
...

http://www.wnyc.org/story/nyc-opens-traffic-crash-data-finally/
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Areas With Most Shootings, Robberies to Get More Police on Bike Patrols

News you will not see in MarylandBy Casey Cora, DNA Info Chicago

BRIDGEPORT — Police officers on foot patrol in high-crime areas will ride bicycles to help boost their visibility in the neighborhoods, city officials announced Friday.

More than one-third of the 360 officers assigned to foot patrol in "Operation Impact" have been equipped with the police bikes since April 1, Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy said.
...

The policing-by-bike strategy, tested during the 2012 NATO summit, allows for more interaction with residents and gives police more mobility, officials said.

McCarthy said crime rates have dipped in the 20 impact zones — murders are down nearly 50 percent, shootings are down 43 percent and overall crime is down 26 percent.
...

http://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/20140418/bridgeport/areas-with-most-shootings-robberies-get-more-police-on-bike-patrols

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Undercover Houston Cops On Bikes Are Nabbing Drivers Dangerous To Cyclists

News you will not see in MarylandBe careful which bikers you buzz by super closely on Houston's streets. One of them might arrest you.

By SYDNEY BROWNSTONE, Fast Co.Exist

In Houston, cops are taking a novel approach to arresting jerks who cut off cyclists. They’re going undercover on two wheels, and when things get too tight for the law, they're calling in for support.
...

http://www.fastcoexist.com/3028416/undercover-houston-cops-on-bikes-are-nabbing-drivers-dangerous-to-cyclists
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Oakland law would let cyclists, pedestrians sue abusive drivers

News you will not see in MarylandBy Matthew Artz Oakland Tribune

OAKLAND -- Abusive drivers who take aim at cyclists and pedestrians might soon face retribution far more severe than a middle finger.

Councilwoman Libby Schaaf introduced legislation Tuesday that would make Oakland the nation's fourth city to allow aggrieved cyclists and pedestrians to take their vehicular tormentors to civil court. If victorious, Oakland law would let cyclists, pedestrians sue abusive driversplaintiffs would be entitled to at least $1,000 and attorneys fees.

Bicycle advocates and Schaaf, who is running for mayor, acknowledged that cyclists are not always docile victims on the streets of Oakland. But they said the additional protections were warranted because both cyclists and pedestrians are far more vulnerable to serious injury.
...

http://www.insidebayarea.com/news/ci_25418959/oakland-law-would-let-cyclists-pedestrians-sue-abusive
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[Cecil] County police bike patrols begin this week

News you will not see in Maryland[B' Spokes: I also hear Baltimore County is also doing bike patrols, while all that is nice could we have some more please.]
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By Jane Bellmyer, Cecil Daily

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Starting this week, however, several agencies are adding bicycles to their equipment in the name of community policing.
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“We’ll be using the bikes in some of our high crime areas,” said Russell, who was promoted and assumed command of the barrack on April 16.
Russell said the bikes will allow law enforcement to not only be more approachable to the general public, but also to go places a motor vehicle cannot.
John Peters, director of construction and facility maintenance for The Cordish Company, which owns the North East Plaza, looks forward to that aspect.

“If (a suspect) runs into the woods, they can go right behind them,” Peters said. “In a car, it just doesn’t happen.”
...

“This will definitely keep our customers safer in this area,”Rabuck said Friday. “They’ll be able to patrol quicker and more effectively.”
...

http://www.cecildaily.com/news/local_news/article_9f118f4e-e32d-5010-b4dc-6b0843c6e930.html
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School bus used to crack down on distracted driving

News you will not see in Maryland[B' Spokes: Clever idea but well we ever get the police around here to leave their cruisers?]

http://www.kare11.com/story/news/crime/2014/04/11/school-bus-distracted-driving-minnesota-ramsey-county-law-enforcement-crackdown/7607733/
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Naples police to enforce three-foot law

News you will not see in MarylandBy Jim Spiewak, ABC-7

NAPLES, FL -
Bicyclists are still getting hit and a law protecting them is still not being enforced. In light of our investigation into why the three-foot law is not widely enforced, the Naples Police Department is now cracking down in a unique way.

During the last three years only three tickets have been issued by all law enforcement agencies in Southwest Florida for violation of the three-foot law. That's where drivers must give cyclists a three-foot buffer when passing. The Naples Police Department hasn't issued even one such ticket.

But Officer Buddy Bonollo thinks that's about to change.

"If we're going to see firsthand we have to be part of this," Bonollo said.

Wednesday, Buddy turned in his uniform for riding gear and joined a group for their 30-mile ride. Cops can only write a ticket for the three-foot law if they see it. With Buddy along for the ride, now the Naples police can.
...

http://www.abc-7.com/story/24768808/naples-police-to-enforce-three-foot-law#.UwYl_PldWYC
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[B' Spokes: When was the last time you saw a police officer on a bike or on foot prepared to address issues you care about as a cyclists or pedestrians?]
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