Law Enforcement

Case Studies

France: Prioritize Pedestrians

Inspired by Belgium’s 2004 street code, France adapted its street code in 2008 to reflect the philosophy that all street users should be able to move about safely, no matter their age, physical abilities, or mode of travel. The updated street code instituted a general principle of prudence, specifying that each street user must show … Continue reading France: Prioritize Pedestrians

Las Vegas: Pedestrian Safety Operations

Las Vegas, NV, has tried to address its high rates of pedestrian fatalities through targeted enforcement operations to reinforce safe driver and pedestrian behaviors. Nevada funds these enforcement operations by making pedestrian safety eligible for targeted-enforcement federal highway safety grants. Staffing limitations are addressed through the Joining Forces program, which is a multi-jurisdictional law-enforcement program … Continue reading Las Vegas: Pedestrian Safety Operations

Portland: Training Instead of Fines

Trauma Nurses Talk Tough, a program of the Portland-based Legacy Health System, collaborated with the City of Portland, Multnomah County courts, Portland Bureau of Transportation, Portland Police Bureau, the Bicycle Transportation Alliance, and Willamette Pedestrian Coalition to offer eligible first-time traffic offenders—drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists—the option of taking a Share the Road safety class instead … Continue reading Portland: Training Instead of Fines

Oregon: Vulnerable Users Statute

In 2007, the Oregon Legislature passed the Vulnerable Roadway User statute (ORS 811.135). The act created a higher penalty for careless driving if it contributed to serious physical injury or death to a “vulnerable user of a public way.” If that occurred, the act mandated either community service and driver-improvement education, or a substantial fine … Continue reading Oregon: Vulnerable Users Statute

New York: Pedestrian Managers

The streets leading up to the Holland Tunnel in Manhattan experience daily traffic congestion: Cars routinely block intersections and crosswalks, forcing pedestrians to weave in between trucks and vans to cross the road. These traffic problems are especially acute along the six lanes of Varick Street, where blocked intersections prevent cross-street traffic from getting through, … Continue reading New York: Pedestrian Managers

Oregon: Strengthen Crossing Ordinances

Ray Thomas, an Oregon bicycle and pedestrian lawyer, and the Willamette Pedestrian Coalition had been trying for years to induce drivers to yield more consistently to pedestrians in crosswalks. Oregon’s existing statute specified that a driver shall stop and remain stopped for a pedestrian when he or she is crossing the road in a crosswalk. … Continue reading Oregon: Strengthen Crossing Ordinances

Wisconsin: Train Officers

In 2007, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation updated its bicycle-training program for law-enforcement officers, which had been created in 1995 through a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) grant, to include pedestrian statutes and crash-prevention techniques. The course is designed to give law- enforcement officers the basic knowledge, tools, and resources to create safe walking … Continue reading Wisconsin: Train Officers

New York: Safe Routes for Seniors

As more people live longer and age in place, creating communities that are easy, enjoyable, and safe for older adults to walk through is crucial for both transportation and public-health considerations. So, in 2003, Transportation Alternatives (TA), a New York City–based transportation advocacy organization, created a Safe Routes to Seniors program. With funding from the … Continue reading New York: Safe Routes for Seniors

Federal Way: Mobility Education

The Mobility Education Foundation ran a mobility-education pilot course in Federal Way, Washington, in 2007. The Federal Way Public Schools Traffic Safety Education program typically offers two sections of driver education at Todd Beamer High School. The foundation offered one of the two sections an expanded “Driver Education PLUS” course with supplemental training run by … Continue reading Federal Way: Mobility Education

Tactics

Organize Pedestrian Safety-Enforcement Operations

Pedestrian safety-enforcement operations are police-run public- education and enforcement efforts to improve driver compliance to pedestrian yield laws. During an operation, one police officer or community volunteer acts as a pedestrian while being monitored by another officer who then pulls over non-yielding drivers to give warnings or citations. Guidance Seek funding sources such as National … Continue reading Organize Pedestrian Safety-Enforcement Operations

Install Pedestrian-Traffic Managers at Problematic Intersections

Pedestrian-traffic managers (PTMs) are trained, uniformed individuals that direct pedestrians across intersections or along crowded, mixed-use paths where conflicts between pedestrians, cars, and/or bicycles are frequent. While they are not authorized to direct vehicle traffic, pedestrian managers can use their arms, voices, whistles, or physical barriers to establish boundaries between modes of transportation. Guidance Create … Continue reading Install Pedestrian-Traffic Managers at Problematic Intersections

Strengthen Street-Crossing Ordinances

This tactic entails amending existing state vehicle and traffic statutes to give pedestrians a way to signal to oncoming traffic that they intend to cross before having to step into the roadway. Guidance Retain all pedestrian right-of-way statute language Add a definition of “crossing the roadway” to the definitions section of vehicle and traffic laws … Continue reading Strengthen Street-Crossing Ordinances

Install Red-Light Cameras and Speed Cameras

Red-light cameras and speed cameras are automated trafficenforcement systems that photograph vehicles whose drivers run red lights or drive faster than the posted speed limit. Cameras typically record the date, time of day, time elapsed since the beginning of the red signal (where applicable), vehicle speed, and license plate. Tickets or citations are then mailed … Continue reading Install Red-Light Cameras and Speed Cameras

Pass a Vulnerable-Users Statute

This is a legislative statute that requires higher penalties for drivers who harm more vulnerable roadway users, such as pedestrians and cyclists. The statute should include a “due care” provision, if one is not already enacted in state law, requiring drivers to look out for and avoid striking vulnerable persons in the roadway. Guidance Create … Continue reading Pass a Vulnerable-Users Statute

Provide Training Instead of Fines

Training instead of fines gives first-time traffic offenders of certain violations—whether they are drivers, pedestrians, or bicyclists—the option of taking a safety class instead of paying a fine. Citation receivers who successfully complete the class receive an automatic or discretionary dismissal (no conviction) or a sentence of discharge (conviction entered but no fine), depending on … Continue reading Provide Training Instead of Fines

Train Law-Enforcement Officers in Pedestrian Laws and Safety

Provide an education course on pedestrian and bicycle safety geared toward and taught to law-enforcement officers to help them create safer walking and bicycling communities. The training curriculum typically covers state laws and statutes relating to pedestrian and bicycle safety, the causes of common crashes involving pedestrians and bicyclists, how to investigate and report those … Continue reading Train Law-Enforcement Officers in Pedestrian Laws and Safety