Urban Tribe - Ride with your kids in front.

San Francisco police work with bike advocates on training video

Posted by on August 15th, 2007 at 8:55 am

Still from video.
(Watch via YouTube below)

While doing research for a story, I noticed something interesting on the home page of the San Francisco Bike Coalition the other day.

They’ve partnered with the SF Police Department to create a new training video (YouTube embed below).

Fully scripted and acted out by real people (not actors, so the cheese factor is a bit elevated), the video explains bicyclists’ legal rights and illustrates common cycling situations and the appropriate police response they require.

Three specific scenarios are covered: dooring; motorist intimidation; and procedures for reporting a bike/car crash.

The video has been added to the official officer training curriculum and has been deployed for use throughout the department; from the Police Academy to precincts around the city.

I wonder if something similar would be helpful in Portland?

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Thank you — Jonathan

  • Matt Picio August 15, 2007 at 9:28 am

    That rocks. Assuming we could get the PPD to participate in this and some people to donate their time and resources (and some political will re: training from the top), this could be very helpful.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • N.I.K. August 15, 2007 at 9:43 am

    Didn\’t know about SF\’s legal requirement for filing a police report in the event of bicycle collisions. *That* is certainly something we could use here.

    But yeah, decent video, though I think it\’d do even more good if there were a way to get the general public to see it as well. I guess it could be made mandatory viewing in, say, driver\’s ed courses, but that still wouldn\’t account for all the motorists already licensed and on the road.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Matt Picio August 15, 2007 at 9:55 am

    All you need is a good meme to spread it – heck, the video\’s already up on YouTube – you\’re halfway there. 😉

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • sh August 15, 2007 at 10:31 am

    This is delightfully cheesy – and disarmingly effective. We absolutely need a PDX-specific version of this! The cool thing about SF\’s version is that the police and bike coalition groups worked together to produce it, so there\’s ownership on both sides.

    Love that jazzy soundtrack…

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Steve Brown August 15, 2007 at 10:56 am

    I will be e-mailing this to West Linn Police who I have been having an onging conversation about bike safety. Suggest you all send this around.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • BURR August 15, 2007 at 11:37 am

    getting the PPB to work on something like this with the bike community would be much a better way for the PPB to spread a bike safety message than the current unilateral heavy-handed enforcement actions they have been engaging in. It would also be a good way to break the rising tensions between the PPB and many in the bike community who have been affected by those enforcement actions.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • a.O August 15, 2007 at 11:42 am

    I absolutely agree, Burr (#6). This is what I was talking about when I said the stings are poor policy. Here we have an example of something that actually promotes safety and has a chance of changing cycling and driving habits. This is the kind of thing the PPB should be involved in, rather than their current approach.

    Kruger could even wear his SS uniform on camera for us.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Martha S. August 15, 2007 at 12:24 pm

    This is great, and I do think it would be awesome if we could work out production of a pdx version with the ppb.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Carissa August 15, 2007 at 12:35 pm

    Fantastic! For the Portland version I can imagine all the awesome cameos from public figures…

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • BURR August 15, 2007 at 2:00 pm

    The PDOT safety folks talk a lot about the \’three E\’s – Education, Engineering and Enforcement\’.

    Well, they\’ve been working at it for several years now and so far we have seen next to nothing in the way of education for adult cyclists and motorists; some marginal engineering improvements for cyclists (most of the recent safety engineering projects have been for peds, and arguably some of these have actually made things less safe for cyclists; where are the sharrows, for example?), and a lot of heavy-handed police enforcement against cyclists. This is way out of balance and yet the PDOT folks are all patting themselves on the back over their \’successes\’. Something is very wrong with this picture…

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • rixtir August 15, 2007 at 2:06 pm

    Kruger could even wear his SS uniform on camera for us.

    Too bad Leni Riefenstahl is no longer with us.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • P Finn August 15, 2007 at 2:09 pm

    Interesting choice of music…

    I would add as a footnote that wearing a mirror enables one to take not just the lane but the entire roadway on narrow streets, increasing visibility to intersecting traffic as well as a larger door zone buffer.

    Has anyone ever seen a bike cop with a mirror?

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • true August 15, 2007 at 10:36 pm

    I would love to see this during superbowl halftime.

    So…do cyclists get a similar training video about following traffic rules?

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • L. Armstrong August 17, 2007 at 9:50 am

    Great idea, however, the Portland version of the dooring incident would go a bit differently….
    The cop would give the cyclist a ticket for not having a brake, then arrest him and take him downtown to blow in a breathalyser because he swerved.
    It would still be educational.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Joe November 20, 2007 at 5:08 pm

    In the day I would watch this guy ride around playing that 20\’s music or jazz..
    on his bike,, SF has really come along way.. wow.. remember the huge mass rides on friday not always peaceful.. but it
    made a difference with peace instead of


    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Joe November 20, 2007 at 5:11 pm

    wow #14 I feel that they always try and
    blame instead of fix the real issue..
    thats insain.. freedom right huh?

    hang in there.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Kevin November 21, 2007 at 10:29 am

    Does anyone know if it\’s possible to save a YouTube video locally? I am putting together a bike safety presentation for a bike group I belong to and would like to shoe the SF clip as part of that but won\’t have web access.
    I will have my laptop and projector.


    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Antonio Gramsci November 23, 2007 at 3:56 pm

    There is a utility called \”youtube-dl\” you can use to download videos (it requires a Python interpreter to run): http://www.arrakis.es/~rggi3/youtube-dl/youtube-dl

    Recommended Thumb up 0