Lately, Los Angeles cyclists and the Los Angeles Police Department have been going through some problems in their relationship.  Bikers have been clogging the streets during “Critical Mass” events.  These events are considered protests to the city’s treatment of bicyclists, and the police department has been using excessive force in stopping them.

All of that is hopefully coming to a close, because according to LAist, the LAPD is learning new ways to properly pull over cyclists and prevent future bicycle accidents from happening on the streets.

New training techniques should lower police vs. bicycle accidents.

Commander Jorge Villegas recently wrote a letter that has circulated between the LAPD’s Office of Operations and Training Division that states:  “numerous current events have highlighted the need to develop and implement effective tactics in handling bicyclists.”

Personal injuries have been reported about police officers who don’t use safe tactics for pulling over bikers who violate traffic laws.  If you are on a bike, you must obey the rules of the road as if you were in a car — meaning no running red lights or blowing through stop signs.

With that said, law enforcement officers should pull over cyclists as they would any other person on the road.  The new policies in the LAPD come after several officers were caught on tape knocking a cyclist to the ground during a Critical Mass event.

“We need to work on policy on how to stop a cyclist,” said Jeremy Grant of BikesideLA at a bicycle meeting earlier this month.  “We need to work on a policy of handcuffing — they do not handcuff motorists who cruise through a red light making a left turn.  Do they flip their car over?  No, they don’t.”

The Office of Operations wants officers who patrol on foot need to be trained better and create new tactics of handling motorcycle, car, and bicycle assignments.  They are being requested to do the following:

  • Stopping a moving bicyclist riding as an individual
  • Stopping a group of bicyclists riding in a group
  • Pursuit policy for bicyclists refusing to yield
  • Managing large bicycle rides, events, or assemblies

Our firm’s car accident lawyers in Southern California hope that these new methods are not only effective in helping to enforce the rules of the road, but to prevent bike accidents from happening due to mistakes made by cyclists or officers in uniform.

If you were injured in a bicycle accident, you may be entitled to a settlement.  Contact our bilingual offices anytime, day or night, at 1-858-551-2090 for a FREE Consultation or click here to submit your case for a FREE Online Review.  Our lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, meaning you owe nothing until we recover money at the end of your insurance claim.