Law Enforcement

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 crashes, and sample enforcement guidelines.

Guidance
  • Identify a champion in law enforcement to help plan and implement the training
  • Partner with law enforcement in creating the curriculum
  • Seek funding from state highway safety agencies who can also provide state peace officer standards and training certification so officers receive training credit for course attendance; federal safety agencies may vet curriculums.
  • Frame the training as a means of improving overall community safety
  • Recruit police training staff for training sessions
  • Make the training as easy as possible to attend:
    • Divide training sessions into short modules to be taught separately
    • Hold training sessions within precincts
    • Fit in trainings during roll call
    • Create and distribute DVDs of training materials
  • Survey participants before and after trainings to gauge their knowledge of pedestrian laws and crash-prevention measures
  • Distribute detailed training manuals to participants. Consider using the free NHTSA-produced, “Pedestrian Safety Training for Law Enforcement” video
Benefits
  • Fills a frequent gap in formal law-enforcement officer education
  • Teaches officers the leading causes of pedestrian crashes
  • Clarifies which laws to enforce for the safety of walkers and cyclists
  • Educates all those who are pulled over about the law and proper interactions between walkers, cyclists, and drivers
  • Helps prevent dangerous behaviors on the road
Considerations
  • Institutional resistance from the perception that pedestrian and bicycle behavior is outside the scope of police concern
  • Financial and time constraints: Who pays for the trainings? How long can departments spare officers to attend training sessions?
  • Bureaucratic hurdles: Who creates and vets the curriculum? Who runs the course?
Where to Use It
  • Local
  • State
Professional Consensus
  • Listed by the National Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center
  • Endorsed by the Federal Highway Administration: “It is an essential component of bicycle and pedestrian programs that seek to enable all users to share roadways safely”
  • National Highway Traffic Safety Administration endorses and develops law-enforcement curricula regarding pedestrian and bicycle safety
Examples

This material is the product of a partnership between America Walks and Sam Schwartz Engineering. Visit here for more information on the partnership.