The Portland Police Bureau has just released a new internal training video meant to educate officers about bike-related traffic laws.
This is an internal training video for the Portland Police Bureau. It is narrated by Officer Robert Pickett, who serves as a liaison for bicycling issues, Bicycle Transportation Alliance advocate Michelle Poyourow, and a team of police officers who worked together to come up with the points in the video. The video is meant to educate officers, the two say, remind them of relevant laws, and “to advise officers’ discretion in bicycle enforcement situations.”
The video covers various hotly debated local issues such as issuing citations, exceptions to mandatory bike lane use, and policing of group rides. Pickett cautions that the video is meant as “advice, not as a mandate” and that “members of the public should not interpret any part of this video as exempting them from following the letter of the law.”
The video was promised to the community in the wake of an incident involving a group of riders from the Portland State Cycling team who were stopped by a police officer while riding on Northeast Ainsworth Street back in November of 2008. One man was issued a citation for impeding traffic after he attempted to gesture to the officer that he had passed him too closely in his vehicle.
The citation was ultimately dismissed, and the Police Bureau agreed to produce a video for training its officers on laws and safety issues surrounding bicycle traffic.
Several weeks ago, the Chicago Police Department released a training video for its traffic enforcement officers. While the Portland video’s focus is on how to identify and prioritize infractions committed by people on bicycles, the Chicago video focuses on infractions by people driving cars that endanger people on bicycles, and on how to handle the particular needs and paperwork issues when someone on a bicycle has been in a crash.