Enforcement for

Pedestrian & Bicycle Safety
G t N O l P d t i &Bi l P
Spring 2010
Greater New Orleans Pedestrian & Bicycle Program
State Project No. 737-66-0762 & 737-99-0929










Greater New Orleans Pedestrian & Bicycle Program
A Project of the
Regional Planning Commission and Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development
State Project No. 737-66-0762 & 737-99-0929



i

ii


Special thanks to all for their hard work to create
this state of the art manual and course for
Louisiana law enforcement officers and the
pedestrians and bicyclists that they are sworn to
protect and serve.

Dan Magri
Highway Safety Administrator
Louisiana Department of Transportation and
Development
Office of Planning & Programming

Brian Parsons
Bicycle & Pedestrian Coordinator
Louisiana Department of Transportation and
Development
Office of Planning & Programming

Col. Jim Champagne
Executive Director
Louisiana Highway Safety Commission

Bob Thompson
Assistant Director
Louisiana Highway Safety Commission

Walter Brooks
Executive Director
Regional Planning Commission

Dan Jatres
Pedestrian & Bicycle Programs
Regional Planning Commission

Lt. Stanley Cosper
Tulane University Police Department

The Chiefs and Officers of:
Covington Police Department
Gretna Police Department
Kenner Police Department
New Orleans Police Department, 1
st
District

Peter Flucke
WE BIKE etc

Larry Corsi
Bicycle/Pedestrian Safety Program Manager
Wisconsin Department of Transportation
Bureau of Transportation Safety
The Louisiana Department of Transportation and
Development (LA DOTD), the Regional
Planning Commission for Jefferson, Orleans,
Plaquemines, St. Bernard, and St. Tammany
Parishes (RPC) and the Louisiana Highway
Safety Commission (HSC) provided funding to
develop the course and create this manual.

Created and piloted in 2007 by Peter Flucke of
WE BIKE, etc. for the New Orleans Regional
Planning Commission to provide specific and
quality instruction on enforcement strategies to
reduce the number and severity of Louisiana
pedestrian and bicyclist crashes.

This course and manual are based on the
Wisconsin Pedestrian and Bicycle Law
Enforcement Training Course and Manual
developed by Peter Flucke of WE BIKE, etc. for
the Wisconsin Department of Transportation
(WisDOT) (2006). Thanks to WisDOT and WE
BIKE, etc. for allowing their course and manual
to be used as a template for this course and
manual.

The two-day course carries 16 in-service hour
credits through the Louisiana Commission on
Law Enforcement and Administration of
Criminal Justice.

Contact the Louisiana Department of
Transportation and Development, Office of
Planning & Programming or the Regional
Planning Commission if your agency or law
enforcement educational program, DA‘s office
or others in the judicial system are interested in
hosting a class or in attending one.
iii


As the people of Louisiana work to rebuild their communities better than those of the past and ready to face
the opportunities and challenges of the 21
st
Century, a common theme emerges; quality of life. Setting a
high standard and raising the quality of life is the key to creating and sustaining a vibrant future for
Louisiana‘s citizens.

Walking and bicycling, two of the most basic forms of transportation, serve as a foundation on which
―livable‖ communities are built. A community that creates an environment favorable to walking and
bicycling is a community that brings about a rebirth for its citizens. By bringing people out of their cars
and onto the street, a sense of community is reestablished. Residents reconnect with each other,
neighborhood small businesses witness increased economic activity, crime decreases and residents engage
in a healthier lifestyle. A community that is pedestrian and bicycle friendly inherently becomes a livable
community that attracts residents and businesses.

The Enforcement for Pedestrian & Bicycle Safety training aims to promote this idea of a livable
community. Law enforcement officers work to make Louisianans safe, whether at home, work, school and
everywhere in between. This training provides law enforcement with the knowledge and methods to
successfully address pedestrian and bicycle safety concerns. Only law enforcement can protect the public
against people whose careless and irresponsible decisions on our roads endanger both themselves and
others. Ultimately, this training aims to reduce pedestrian and bicyclist injuries and fatalities, in turn
promoting livable communities and making Louisiana a national leader in safe walking and bicycling.
iv



Provide law enforcement officers with basic training about pedestrian and bicycle safety.
Develop officer‘s awareness as to the significance of their role in pedestrian and bicycle safety
(education and enforcement).
Show officers how they can improve traffic safety by enforcing laws, for pedestrians, bicyclists, and
motorists.
Demonstrate that educating and enforcing for pedestrian and bicycle safety is integral to improving
community safety.
Encourage law enforcement agencies to adopt a traffic safety enforcement policy for pedestrian and
bicycle safety.
Demonstrate the need to develop additional pedestrian and bicycle education curricula and materials
for law enforcement.


Create a safer traffic environment for all users.
Reduce deaths and injuries to pedestrians and bicyclists.
Improve the quality of life in our communities by promoting a greater sense of security.
Increase the number of trips made by walking and bicycling.
Improve public health (e.g., obesity, diabetes)
Promote sustainable communities.
v


08:00 Registration and Pretest
08:30 Welcome & Introductions
09:00 The Basics
09:45 Highway Safety Triangle
10:00 Engineering
11:00 Bicycle Ride & On-bike Training
12:00 Lunch
13:00 Bicycle Ride & On-bike Training
13:30 How Pedestrian/Bicycle Crashes Happen
14:45 Education
15:45 Review Day One & Overview of Day Two
16:00 Adjourn

08:00 Review Day One
08:15 Pedestrian/Bicycle Laws
09:15 Enforcement
10:30 Pedestrian Safety Enforcement Action Overview
11:00 Pedestrian Environment Audit
11:30 Pedestrian Safety Enforcement Action
12:00 Lunch
13:00 Pedestrian Safety Enforcement Action Debriefing
13:15 Bicycle Theft
13:30 Crash Investigation & Reporting
14:00 Potential Law Enforcement Partners
14:30 Debriefing & Course Evaluation
15:00 Adjourn
vi

vii


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ........................................................................................................................... ii
VISION STATEMENT ................................................................................................................................. iii
COURSE GOALS & OBJECTIVES ............................................................................................................ iv
COURSE OUTLINE ...................................................................................................................................... v
TABLE OF CONTENTS ............................................................................................................................. vii
INTRODUCTION .......................................................................................................................................... 1
THE BASICS ................................................................................................................................................. 3
THE HIGHWAY SAFETY TRIANGLE ....................................................................................................... 7
ENGINEERING ............................................................................................................................................. 9
ON-BIKE TRAINING ..................................................................................................................................18
HOW PEDESTRIAN & BICYCLE CRASHES HAPPEN ...........................................................................20
EDUCATION ................................................................................................................................................31
PEDESTRIAN LAWS ..................................................................................................................................36
BICYCLE LAWS ..........................................................................................................................................44
ENFORCEMENT .........................................................................................................................................54
PEDESTRIAN ENFORCEMENT ACTION ................................................................................................61
BICYCLE THEFT ........................................................................................................................................64
CRASH INVESTIGATION AND REPORTING .........................................................................................65
LAW ENFORCEMENT PARTNERS ..........................................................................................................68
BIBLIOGRAPHY .........................................................................................................................................69
ORGANIZATIONS AND CONTACTS .......................................................................................................72






viii

1


Walking and bicycling have been an integral part
of Louisiana life for all ages and abilities since
long before motor vehicles were invented.
People have always had the right to walk, and
bicycles are legal vehicles by state law.
Bicyclists have the same rights and
responsibilities as the operators of other vehicles,
and interestingly, many of our roads were
originally paved to make bicycling safer. People
walk and bicycle for many reasons including
recreation, health, fitness, transportation and to
protect the environment. The benefits of
walking and bicycling are tremendous.
However, these activities are not without risk
and this is where law enforcement should come
into play.

Walking and bicycling are not inherently
dangerous. What are dangerous are the often-
illegal behaviors that some pedestrians, bicyclists
and motorist engage in. (In a crash between a
pedestrian or bicyclist and a motorist, the
pedestrian or bicyclist many times is severely
injured or killed.)

As a Law enforcement officer you come in
contact with pedestrians and bicyclists on a daily
basis and have a unique opportunity to improve
conditions for them. You enforce laws,
investigate crashes, teach safety and much more.
The public views you and your fellow officers as
traffic experts. You are the only ones who can
enforce laws designed to protect pedestrians and
bicyclists and keep traffic moving smoothly.
The enforcement of laws, for pedestrians,
bicyclists and motorists—along with well-
engineered facilities and education—play a key
role in improving pedestrian and bicycle safety
and enjoyment.

But, how much training on pedestrian and
bicycle safety have you had? How much do you
need? Are these issues something that you
should be spending your time on, or are there
more important parts of your job?

Enforcing for pedestrian and bicycle safety is a
great example of community oriented policing.
Community oriented policing strives to resolve
problems by dealing with their underlying
causes. Walking and bicycling are indicators of
the overall health of a community. If people can
bike and walk safely and enjoyably in your
community, it is probably a great place to live,
work and go to school. If they cannot, there are
likely much larger problems that you are already
dealing with.

Why do most law enforcement officers get into
law enforcement? To help people!

Unfortunately, most officers quickly learn that
the majority of the work in their chosen
profession is reactionary—you are usually too
late to prevent something bad from happening,
all that is left is to clean up the mess. However,
pedestrian and bicycle safety is different. Most
crashes are predictable, and are therefore
preventable. With the proper knowledge and
training you can actually stop these crashes
before they occur.

What are the leading causes of pedestrian and
bicycle crashes in your community? If you don‘t
know then how do you know which laws to
enforce to improve pedestrian and bicycle
safety?

Most law enforcement officers have never
received any pedestrian or bicycle-specific
training and are ill-equipped to handle these
duties. In reality, very little enforcement for
pedestrian and bicycle safety is currently taking
place because of this lack of training.
Throughout the country there are courses, which
address specific topics, such as pedestrian and
bicycle education for children or police on bikes,
but there is little or no basic enforcement
education. Without this training it is unlikely
that the current situation will improve much in
the near future.

This course covers such topics as the Highway
Safety Triangle, Engineering, How Crashes
Happen, Enforcement, Laws, Crash Investigation
& Reporting, Education, On-bike Training,
Pedestrian Enforcement Actions and Law
Enforcement Partners. It is designed to give
officers the information that they need to identify
dangerous situations and literally stop crashes
before they can occur, preventing injuries,
deaths—the ability to help people, the reason so
many law enforcement officers join the
profession.
2


The Enforcement for Pedestrian and Bicycle
Safety Course is designed to give you, the law
enforcement officer, the pedestrian and bicycle
safety information that you need to manage
traffic in your community and improve
pedestrian and bicycle safety. Ultimately, it is a
tool to assist you with community oriented
policing and creating a safer and more livable
community.

3



Upon completing this section, students will be
able to:

1. Briefly describe the evolution of walking
and bicycling.
2. Describe who is a pedestrian, a bicyclist.
3. State at least four reasons why people walk
and bicycle.
4. List at least three areas where people walk.
5. List at least three areas where bicycles are
ridden.
6. State why walking and bicycling are vital to
a community.



According to Louisiana revised statute R.S. 32:1
(48), ―Pedestrian” means any person afoot.
Walking is the most basic form of any human
transportation—humans have always walked.
Walking forms the base of any transportation
system. Even if you ―drive everywhere‖ you still
must walk to and from your car to get where you
are going. Beyond simply getting to their cars,
many people walk for transportation, either as
their primary means or in combination with
others (e.g., biking, public transit). People can,
and do, walk, in whole or in part, to school,
work, shop, and visit friends and much more.
Walking and running for recreation and fitness
are popular too. More than one parent has told
their child, ―When all else fails, walk.‖

The Manual for Uniform Traffic Control Devices
(MUTCD) establishes pedestrian speeds as 4
ft/sec for able-bodied adults and 3 ft/sec for
seniors.

In Louisiana a bicycle is defined under revised
statute R.S. 32:1 (4) as follows: ―Bicycle”
means every device propelled by human power
upon which any person may ride and designed to
travel on two tandem wheels.


The ―Father of the Bicycle‖ is thought by many
to be German Karl Von Drais, who in 1815 was
awarded a patent on his Fahrmaschine or ―travel
machine.‖ This was a very heavy, but steerable,
wooden device which was straddled and pushed
along with the feet. The significance of this
invention is the discovery that man can balance
on a single track vehicle. Von Drais, both a
showman and a businessman, proved the worth
of his invention by exceeding, even over
journeys of two to three hours, the speed of
runners and horse-drawn ―posts.‖ The vehicle,
by then known as a Draisienne - a toy for the
rich, first made its way to the United States in
1821.

― . . . in about 1839, a blacksmith named
Kirkpatrick Macmillan from near Dumfries,
Scotland, made the first known attempt to
harness leg muscles to turn the wheels directly.
He added cranks to the rear wheels of a steerable
velocipede (any foot-propelled vehicle) with
connecting rods to swinging pedals. Because it
made it possible for the rider to pedal and stay
continuously out of contact with the ground,
Macmillan might be called the originator of the
true bicycle. He rode 225 km (140 miles) to
Glasgow, an extraordinary feat given the state of
the roads in those days and the hilly country, and
he received the first known traffic fine of five
shillings for knocking down a child in the
throng that passed around him.‖
(1)

In 1861, Pierre Michaux, a carriage maker from
Paris, fitted cranks to the front wheel of a
Draisienne, sparking the first true bicycle craze.
He organized factories that could make five
machines a day. With increased interest in the
bicycle came the desire to go farther and faster.
In order to go faster, ―the front wheels of the
‗Boneshakers‘ (so called due to the poor quality
of the ride) were made larger by degrees to give
a longer distance per pedal revolution and,
therefore, greater speed on favorable ground.‖
(1)

These vehicles with the very large front wheels
were so common that they became known as
―ordinaries‖ or high wheelers. The 1870s were
the years of dominance for this style of bicycle.


4

There was, however, a large drawback to the
high wheelers. Because the rider‘s center of
gravity was so high and far forward, they were
prone to abruptly tipping forward, thus the
phrase, taking a “header.”

John Kemp Starley invented the “Safety”
bicycle in 1885. This bicycle featured a rear-
driven, chain transmission and two wheels of
approximately the same size. This reduced the
likelihood of taking a header.

By 1900, the bicycle had nearly reached
perfection and was much as it is today.
(1)

―The enthusiasm for bicycles waned soon after
the turn of the century with the emergence of the
motor vehicle. But unlike in Europe, where
motor cars took decades to supersede bicycles,
American cyclists never had a chance to coexist
with the motoring public. As a result, when
automobiles came on the scene, bicycles
experienced a sudden drop in popularity and
status as they went from being considered a
high-class mode of transportation and pleasure to
more of a child‘s toy . . .‖

―Bicycle use increased during World War II
among both adults and children, but the sale of
bicycles was restricted during the war . . .‖

―Growth in the popularity of bicycling increased
during the 1950s and 1960s, as the ―baby boom‖
generation used the bicycle as a major means of
making short trips and for recreation. In the late
1960s and early 1970s, the (second) ―bicycle
boom‖ occurred as young adults, born in the
1950s and 1960s returned to bicycling and
purchased lightweight 10 speed bicycles . . .‖

―In late 1991, the federal Intermodal Surface
Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) provided
significant new language regarding bicyclists.
ISTEA required the consideration of bicyclists
and pedestrians in the planning of highway
improvements that involved the use of federal
funds. In addition, all Metropolitan Planning
Organizations (MPOs) and state Departments of
Transportation were required to include a bicycle
and pedestrian element in their overall
transportation plan.‖
(2)


From its humble ―velocipede‖ day, the bicycle
has changed very little, but the advances in
bicycling have been stunning. Here are some
records to prove it:

In 1899, Charles ―Mile-a-Minute‖ Murphy
pedaled his bicycle behind a train at over 60
mph (This was four years before a car
achieved that speed).
(3)

In 1985, John Howard set a world record by
riding his bicycle on the salt flats of Utah at
152.284 mph.
(3)

On July 2, 2006 in Casa Grande, Arizona,
Fred Markham pedaled 53.432 miles in one
hour.
(4)

On July 20, 2006 Greg Kolodziejzyk
pedaled 650 miles in 24 hours in Eureka,
California.
(5)


There are as many reasons for walking and
bicycling as there are people who do these
activities. However, there are a few generally
stated reasons which are useful to know when
considering why and where people walk and
bike.


Walking and bicycling are fun and to many,
sport. They can be done by almost anyone and
there is a great deal of variety available.
According to the National Sporting Goods
Association, 87.5 million people walked and
35.6 million people bicycled at least once for
exercise in 2006.
(6)


Americans are becoming more aware of the
benefits of exercise and being physically fit.
Both walking and bicycling are life-long, low-
impact forms of exercise that can be done at a
wide range of fitness levels.

Walking is the most basic and bicycling is the
most efficient form of human transportation.
They are inexpensive and convenient for many
people. The National Bicycling and Walking
Study estimates that almost 80 percent of all
daily trips are ten miles or less in length, well
within biking distance for most people.
(7)

People going to work, school and a wide variety
of other locations use walking and bicycling
every day.




5

With the exception of some manufacturing and
disposal process, walking and bicycling are
totally non-polluting. With increased concerns
about protecting our environment (acid rain, the
ozone layer, global warming, etc.), this is
becoming increasingly important to people.


As our main transportation system, people have
always walked and bicycled on the roads. In
fact, according to the League of American
Bicyclists (the oldest bicycle organization in the
country, founded in 1880), in some areas it was
originally bicyclists who pushed for paving the
roads to make them safer for bicyclists.

Recreational trails are very popular because they
are generally quiet, scenic, and separated from
motor vehicle traffic. A good example of a
recreational trail is the Tammany Trace in St.
Tammany Parish. This 31 mile long trail was
built on an abandoned railroad grade. Tammany
Trace is Louisiana's first and only rails-to-trails
conversion. The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy
estimates that as of November 2006 there were
1,412 rail-trails nationwide covering 13,794
miles. (Louisiana ranks 41st nation-wide in total
rail-trail miles with 31 on 1 trail.)
(8)

People have always hiked off-road but with the
development of the mountain bike, there is
almost nowhere that a bicycle cannot go. Dirt
trails, forest roads, and parks are some of the
most popular locations to ride.



How and where people walk is affected by their
ability.

Pedestrians come in different shapes and sizes
ranging from elderly pedestrians attempting to
cross the road to disabled individuals utilizing
wheel chairs along sidewalks to joggers running
alongside the road. Each group of pedestrians
has unique characteristics which affect what they
need in order to successfully get from Point A to
Point B.

The first key pedestrian characteristic is walking
speed. While the average pedestrian can walk at
an average speed of 4 ft/sec, large segments of
the population walk at slower speeds. This
includes seniors, disabled individuals and
children. These variations in speed are critical at
crossings, especially where higher traffic speed
or wider crossings can become a nearly
impassable barrier to slower pedestrians.

Another important characteristic is the physical
condition of a facility, something that can
present significant challenges for disabled
pedestrians. However, issues such as narrow
sidewalks, cracked and displaced concrete or
overgrown plants can also easily prevent or
discourage able-bodied people from using a
facility. For example, narrow spaces create
uneasy walking environments by placing
pedestrians too close to the roadway or by not
providing sufficient ―shy distance,‖ a buffer zone
away from vertical objects. These defects are
further compounded for disabled pedestrians,
who are not just discouraged from using, but
often unable to use such facilities.

How and where people bicycle is affected by
their ability.

Bicyclists can be split into three broad categories

The statewide plan defines this group as adults
experienced in riding in urban traffic conditions
and who favor the most direct routes to their
destinations (Section 5 page 1). These cyclists
are comfortable riding on arterial and collector
roads. In our area, advanced cyclists include
competitive sport cyclists, cyclists who ride for
exercise and recreation, and a large share of
bicycle commuters.

The statewide plan defines this group as adults
and teenagers who have less-developed bicycling
skills. The statewide plan identifies them as
―weekend or casual riders who are not as
comfortable riding with traffic. These riders
prefer low-volume or low-speed streets and
additional maneuvering room on higher volume
and speed roadways‖ (Section 5 page 1). In our
region, this group also includes many bicycle

6

commuters, especially low income riders who
use their bicycle as transportation.

Children riding their bikes to school, the
playground, a friend‘s house, or other places in
their neighborhoods are in this category (Section
5 page 1). Because children tend ride slower and
not be as aware of traffic patterns and laws, they
tend to gravitate towards low-intensity
neighborhood streets and pathways.

A subgroup of the child bicyclists category are
preteen riders whose bicycle use is initially
monitored by adults, but who are eventually
allowed to ride unsupervised on the road system.
The majority of their riding will occur on local
residential streets with low vehicle speeds and
volumes, but they do require access to key
destinations such as schools, recreation facilities
and neighborhood shopping areas. Most preteens
(if they have been given proper bicycle
education) will behave more like casual adult
cyclists and thus are considered a subgroup.

Another subgroup of bicyclists is teenagers who
have taken driver‘s education. For many, driver‘s
education is where they are first formally
introduced to the concepts of vehicular traffic.
This information is critical to safe bicycle
operation and should be provided at a much
earlier age.

It is important to recognize that some casual or
novice riders will eventually become
experienced cyclists if an encouraging bicycle
system is developed.

It has been estimated that about 20 percent of the
cyclists (experienced) ride about 80 percent of
the bicycle miles, while 80 percent of the cyclists
(casual or novice) only bike 20 percent of the
miles.

Knowing where people walk and bicycle and
where they prefer to do these activities is also
important. This allows us to monitor current
activities and to predict future trends.

Because of the positive affects that walking and
bicycling have on recreation, fitness,
transportation and the environment they are vital
to a community



1. Sanders, Nick. The Image and the Dream.
Great Britain: Red Bus, 1991.

2. Wisconsin. Dept. of Transportation.
Wisconsin Bicycle Transportation Plan
2020. Madison, 1998.

3. Nye, Peter. The Cyclist Sourcebook. New
York: Perigee Publishing Group, 1991.

4. Official Speed Records. Human Powered
Vehicle Association. 3 July 2007
<http://www.ihpva.org/dempsey_macready_
prize.html>.

5. Official Speed Records. Human Powered
Vehicle Association. 3 July 2007
<http://www.eurekareporter.com/ArticleDis
play.aspx?ArticleID=13164>.

6. 2006 Participation Ranked By Total
Participation. National Sporting Goods
Association. 3 July 2007
<http://www.nsga.org/public/pages/index.cf
m?pageid=150>.

7. Cheeney, David. ―The National Bicycling
and Walking Study.‖ U.S. Department of
Transportation—Federal Highway
Administration (Publication No. FHWA-
PD-94-023).

8. Rails-To-Trails Conservancy, September
2006

7



Upon completing this section, students will be
able to:

1. Describe the three major components of the
Highway Safety Triangle and how they
affect pedestrian and bicycle safety.


The main goals of a transport system are safety,
efficiency and accessibility. If these goals are not
met, the system will be compromised or fail.
Safety is, of course, the most important goal.



The three key components of highway safety are
Engineering, Education and Enforcement.
Together they are often referred to as the
Highway Safety Triangle, or the ―3E’s.‖ While
all three ―E‘s‖ are important individually, no one
component has the ability to completely solve
pedestrian and/or bicycle safety problems. The
most effective safety strategies draw on all three
E‘s to come up with a long-lasting solution to a
problem.


The 3E‘s work together much like the legs of a
three legged stool. Each leg is equally
responsible for the strength and stability of the
stool. If one (or more) leg of the stool is weaker
or shorter than the others (or nonexistent), the
stool will collapse.

Planners and engineers should strive to create
and maintain facilities (roads, bridges, sidewalks,
trails and paths) which are safe, accessible and
efficient for pedestrians and bicyclists. If this is
not accomplished, safe walking and bicycling
cannot occur and many will simply choose not to
walk or bike. For example, roads without
sidewalks force pedestrians to compete for space
in the roadway with motor vehicles and bicycles.
Narrow, high-speed roads, rumble strips,
potholes, unpaved shoulders, etc. all make
bicycling more difficult and often dangerous.
Yet, safe walking and bicycle facilities alone are
not enough.

Good education teaches pedestrians, bicyclists
and motorists how to safely and predictably
share the road. Each user needs to be taught to
use facilities properly or there will be chaos and
walking and bicycling will be unsafe no matter
how well facilities are designed.

Consider that without proper education
pedestrians may give motorists and bicyclists
mixed messages about their intent to cross the
street making yielding at crosswalks confusing.
Bicyclists may choose to ride against the flow of
traffic (a contributing factor in 1/3 of all
bicycle/motor vehicle crashes). And, despite the
law, many motorists will continue to be unaware
that bicyclists have an equal right to the road.
This ignorance of the law leads to many
potentially dangerous conflicts. Education can
correct many of our current problems. However,
just good education is not enough either.

This is your main area of responsibility—after
all, only law enforcement officers can enforce
the law. If facilities have been designed and built
properly and effective education programs
developed and implemented then, enforcement is

8

only necessary for the small percentage of people
who choose to operate outside of the desired and
expected norms.

Enforcement is often viewed as an adjunct to
education, and most enforcement efforts strive to
obtain voluntary compliance with the law.
Knowledgeable law enforcement officers have
the opportunity to educate people who are
unaware of the law and proper
pedestrian/bicycle/motorist interactions. They
have the power to stop those who choose to
violate laws and endanger others. Without strong
enforcement to back up engineering and
education efforts behaviors and attitudes can
become lax and chaos and unsafe conditions will
remain.

Efforts need to be made in all three areas of
engineering, education and enforcement to make
walking and bicycling safer and more enjoyable.

Additional ―E‘s‖ are often added to the ―3E‘s‖ to
provide a more complete picture.
Encouragement through programs like Safe
Routes To School, Bike/Walk to Work and other
events and promotions may be necessary to get
people involved in non-motorized activities.
Setting a good Example is an important
component of encouraging appropriate
behaviors. This is especially true of law
enforcement officers who are presumed to be
traffic experts. Your bad behavior is magnified
many times over because of your position of
authority. Lastly, Evaluation of your traffic
safety solutions, both before and after
implementation, will give you the information
necessary to assess if your solution is actually
improving the identified problem.

9



Upon completing this section, students will be
able to:

2. State why a basic knowledge of engineering
is important to pedestrian and bicycle safety.
3. Describe several types of pedestrian
facilities.
4. Describe four basic types of bicycle
facilities.
5. Identify several types of intersection
treatments for pedestrian and bicycle safety.
6. List at least six road hazards which are
commonly encountered by pedestrians and
bicyclists.
7. Explain the concept of traffic calming.


Pedestrians and bicyclists want to go to the same
places as motorists. However, our road systems
have been designed primarily for motor vehicle
traffic. This singular approach to roadway
design has created many roads which are not
conducive to safe and enjoyable walking and
bicycling. But, this does not need to be the case.

As motor vehicles became more popular in this
country, roads were built to accommodate them.
Over time our roads have been redesigned to
make them safer. This same progression towards
safer roads (and other facilities) is being
accomplished for pedestrians and bicyclists as
well.

For you as a law enforcement officer to deal
effectively with pedestrian and bicycle issues, it
is important to have at least a basic
understanding of the principles which are used
when designing and evaluating streets for non-
motorized use. This knowledge will assist you
in identifying areas which need improvement,
allow you to better educate pedestrians,
bicyclists and motorists about proper facility
usage and assist with crash investigations.
Additionally, this knowledge will help you
communicate more effectively with planners and
engineers to jointly find solutions to traffic
safety problems.

Nationally, there are three basic references for
pedestrian and bicycle facility designers. The
American Association of State Highway and
Transportation Officials (AASHTO) publishes
the Guide for the Planning, Design and
Operation of Pedestrian Facilities and the
Guide for the Development of Bicycle
Facilities.
(1, 2)
These guides provide information
on the development of facilities to enhance and
encourage safe pedestrian and bicycle travel.

The Manual for Uniform Traffic Control
Devices (MUTCD), put out by the U.S.
Department of Transportation-Federal Highway
Administration, is the standard for highway signs
and control devices (including pedestrians and
bicycles) in the United States.
(3)


In Louisiana, the Statewide Bicycle and
Pedestrian Master Plan (1998), has been
prepared for the Louisiana Department of
Transportation and Development. ―…The
primary purpose of (the Plan) has been to
develop a set of design policy guidelines for
improvement to the development and use of
bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure within
Louisiana.‖
(4)


According to AASHTO‘s Guide for the
Development of Bicycle Facilities, ―Planners and
engineers should recognize that the choice of
highway design will affect the level of use, the
types of user that can be expected to use any
given road, and the level of access and mobility
that is afforded bicyclists. For example, a four-
lane divided highway with 3.6-m (12-foot) travel
lanes, no shoulder and an 85 km/hr (55 mph)
speed limit will attract only the most confident of
riders. The same road with a 1.5-m (5-foot)
shoulder or bike lane might provide sufficient
‗comfortable operating space‘ for many more
adult riders, but would still not be comfortable
for children or less confident adults. This latter
group might only be accommodated through an
alternative route using neighborhood streets
linked by short sections of shared use path. If
such an alternative route is provided and the
four-lane road has a continuous paved shoulder,
most experienced and many casual adult riders
will continue to use the shoulder for the sake of
speed and convenience. (Pedestrians are more
comfortable using streets with sidewalks.
Without sidewalks, many people will simply not
see walking as an option.)

10


Facilities for bicyclists should also be planned to
provide continuity and consistency for all users.
Children using a path to get to school should not
have to cross a major arterial without some
intersection controls, and shoulders and bike
lanes should not end abruptly and unannounced
at a difficult intersection or busy stretch of
highway.‖
(2)


For purposes of this manual, pedestrian facilities
are defined as the physical infrastructure that
allows for or promotes walking and other forms
of pedestrian movement (such as wheelchairs) as
a form of travel.

Examples of pedestrian facilities include:
sidewalks
off-road paths
shared-use paths
shared streets

Examples of pedestrian infrastructure include:
pedestrian signals
curb cuts
ramps
crosswalks
overpasses/underpasses
transit stops
paved shoulders

Facilities separated from motor vehicle traffic
(sidewalks, off-road paths, shared-use paths,
overpasses and underpasses) are preferred
accommodations for persons afoot.
Primarily because of the speed differential
between pedestrians and motorists, walkers are
safer, and feel more comfortable, on facilities
that are separated from the roadway either by
distance (e.g., a grass median) or by some sort of
barrier. All paths are intended for pedestrian use
although they are sometimes erroneously called
―bike paths.‖ On-road, lane reductions, and
roadway narrowing, reduce the distance
pedestrians need to travel to cross the street
improving safety. Raised medians provide safe
refuge for pedestrians as they cross the street and
allow them to cross only one direction of traffic
at a time. Driveway improvements such as
removing vegetation and restricting parking can
remove visual obstructions. Good roadway
lighting improves pedestrian comfort levels
while walking at night and can significantly
improve visibility and safety.

There are four basic types of bicycle facilities.
The latter three are considered ―bikeways‖
because they are actually designated with
markings and/or signs as bicycle facilities:

According to AASHTO, the definition of a
shared roadway is ―A roadway which is open to
both bicycle and motor vehicle travel. This may
be an existing roadway, street with wide curb
lanes, or road with paved shoulders. . .

. . . Most bicycle travel in the United States now
occurs on streets and highways without bikeway
designation.‖
(2)


―A shared roadway which has been designated
by signing as a preferred route for bicycle use.
As with bike lanes, signing of shared roadways
should indicate to bicyclists that particular
advantages exist to using these routes as
compared with alternative routes.‖
(2)
Shared
Roadway signage also serves to alert motorists
that bicycles belong on the street and will be
traveling along this route.

―A portion of the roadway which has been
designated by striping, signing and pavement
markings for the preferential or exclusive use of
bicyclists.‖
(2)


Bike lanes are established to improve conditions
for bicyclists on streets where higher traffic
volumes and speeds lead to more frequent
passing of bicyclists by motorists. Many
bicyclists will feel uncomfortable bicycling on
these streets without the additional space
established for them in the form of a bicycle
lane. Bike lanes are intended to provide the
needed added space on the street for motorists
passing bicyclists, to delineate the space for
bicyclists and motorists to operate in and to
provide for more predictable movements by
each. Bike lanes also help to increase the total
capacities of the highways carrying mixed
bicycle and motor vehicle traffic.



11

―A bikeway physically separated from motorized
vehicular traffic by an open space or barrier and
either within the highway right-of-way or within
an independent right-of-way. Shared use paths
may also be used by pedestrians, skaters,
wheelchair users, joggers and other non-
motorized users.‖
(2)


The three major factors which affect the
suitability of a given road segment for bicycling
are:
Traffic volume
In general, the greater the traffic volume and
heavier (trucks) the less suitable a road is for
bicycling.
Roadway width
Paved shoulders or curb lane widths over 12 feet
tend to improve conditions for bicycle travel.
The curb lane includes both the travel lane and
parking lane adjacent to the edge of the roadway.
The inside lane is the travel lane adjacent to the
median or centerline.
Speed
As motor vehicle speeds increase (especially
over 25 mph), the suitability of a road for
bicycling decreases.

While all three factors are interdependent,
positively modifying one or two factors for
bicycling may make a road more suitable for
bicycling overall.



In addition to safely crossing streets, pedestrians
are most often injured by simple falls caused by
surface irregularities such as holes, openings,
gaps, unexpected rises such as uplifted
sidewalk slabs and curbs or slippery surfaces.
Every attempt should be made to identify, sign,
mark and repair these hazards before someone is
injured. For example, sidewalk irregularities can
be ground down or mud jacked. If an injury
does occur because of a surface irregularity,
again, the hazard should be signed, marked and
immediately reported to the proper authority for
repair or mitigation.


Narrow Lanes
Because of the low traffic volumes, most city
streets and narrow town and parish roads are
currently suitable for bicycling with no
additional improvements. However, travel lanes
on major roadways are often too narrow for a
motor vehicle and a bicycle to share side by side.
This condition discourages bicycling, slows
traffic and may increase the risk of crashes.
Increasing lane width on roads with high traffic
volumes and/or high speeds improves
convenience for motorists and conditions for
bicyclists.

How wide is wide enough?
―A wide curb lane should have a minimum width
of fourteen feet and a maximum width of fifteen
feet. Curb lanes wider than fifteen feet are not
recommended since they can encourage use by
two motor vehicles, particularly at intersections.
Lane widths of sixteen feet or wider may also be
perceived as a travel lane plus parking. The
presence of a parked car in the 16-foot lane
would lead to undesirable lane restrictions for
through vehicles, thereby negating the benefit of
the wide curb lane.

The lane width must be adjusted for drain grates,
gutters, parking or any other obstructions that
might confront the cyclist. Lane width should be
measured from the lane stripe to the joint line,
edge of the gutter pan, parking lane, outside edge
of the drain grate, or curb face, whichever is
shortest. On multi-lane roadways, it may be
possible to increase the width of the curb lane by
re-striping the existing roadway. No inside lane
should be less than eleven feet in width. Special
consideration should also be given to roadways
where truck traffic accounts for more then 5% of
the total traffic volume. In all cases, a traffic
engineer should be consulted prior to reducing
any lane widths in order to evaluate properly the
impact of the reduction of vehicular traffic.
Where right turn lanes exist, the additional width
should be added to the right most through lane to
minimize conflicts between turning vehicles and
through bicycles.‖
(4)
Bike lanes and paved
shoulders provide the desired additional space
also.

Four generally accepted advantages of wide
curb lanes are that they:


12

Accommodate shared bicycle/motor vehicle
use without reducing the roadway capacity
for motor traffic.
Minimize both real and perceived operating
conflicts between bicyclists and motor
vehicles.
Increase the roadway capacity by at least the
number of bicyclists capable of being
accommodated.
Assist turning vehicles in entering the
roadway without encroaching into another
lane and better accommodating buses and
other wide vehicles.




A. gutter section with 18‖ storm sewer inlet
grates, no joint line
B. bicyclist‘s width with 10‖ of maneuvering
room
C. recommended minimum separation distance
D. truck and bus width

Gaps Between Gutter Flag and the Road
Surface
Through expansion and contraction, longitudinal
joints between the gutter flag (the part of the
gutter which extends into the road) and the road
can open up. It is very easy for the wheels of a
bicycle to get caught in this gap causing the
bicyclist to swerve and/or crash. To avoid riding
in this gap, some bicyclists ride in the gutter.
This is never ―practicable‖ due to the hazard
presented by drain grates, debris, the joint and
the threat of striking the curb with a pedal.
Bicyclists should ride at least a foot to the left of
the joint.

New road construction should strive to move this
joint closer to the curb on asphalt roads or
integrate the curb into the road surface, removing
the joint altogether, on concrete roads.

Unsafe Drain Grates
Drain grates, especially those with openings
running parallel to the road, can be very
dangerous for bicyclists. If a bicyclist gets a
wheel trapped in a grate, this can cause a serious
crash. All drain grates should be bicycle safe,
having no large openings running parallel to the
bicyclist‘s direction of travel. Unsafe grates
should be replaced immediately.

Railroad Tracks
Railroad tracks are notorious for being
dangerous to bicyclists. They can be very
slippery, especially when wet, and can trap a
bicycle tire. Both of these situations are made
even worse if tracks cross the road at less than a
45-degree angle.

Unnecessary tracks should be removed.
Rubberized matting or concrete planking can be
installed to fill gaps and make the track area less
slippery. Also, wide shoulders or bike lanes can
be maintained to allow the bicyclist to cross the
tracks as close to perpendicular (the preferred
method) as possible without creating conflicts
with other traffic.



Poorly Maintained and Repaired Roads
Roadway surface hazards, such as pot holes,
broken glass, rough construction patches, etc.,
may cause a bicyclist to fall or swerve
unexpectedly into traffic while trying to avoid
these hazards. Roads should be maintained to
the following tolerances for bicyclists:


13



*Grooves: A narrow slot in the surface that could
catch a bicycle wheel, such as a gap between two
concrete slabs.

**Steps: A ridge in the pavement, such as that
which might exist between the pavement and a
concrete gutter or manhole cover; or that might
exist between two pavement blankets when the
top level does not extend to the edge of the
roadway.

Unpaved Shoulders on Roads Without Curbs
and Gutters
Without a paved shoulder, bicyclists are forced
to ride in the travel lane even if they would
prefer not to. Also, a difference in elevation
between the road and the shoulder may be
hazardous for a bicyclist. Paved shoulders are
generally not necessary on low volume roads
because there are sufficient gaps in traffic for
motorists to safely overtake bicyclists. Different
road conditions (traffic/truck volume, speed)
suggest different paved shoulder widths, but four
to five feet is usually adequate.

Paved shoulders also benefit users other than
bicyclists. With a paved shoulders, head-on
motor vehicle collisions are decreased, the road
lasts longer, there is a place for disabled
vehicles, and of importance to law enforcement
officers, traffic stops are safer.

Traffic Signals
With traffic signals, two situations arise: The
green phase of the signal may not be long
enough to allow a bicycle to clear the
intersection before cross traffic enters. Or,
traffic sensors (located in the roadway surface or
a camera above the intersection), which signal
the traffic light to change when vehicles are
present, may not detect the presence of a bicycle.
Signal timing should be adjusted to allow bicycle
traffic to clear the intersection before crossing
traffic begins. Bicycle-sensitive sensors may be
installed to activate the lights. Lane markings
can also be used to show the bicyclist where to
sit to activate the signal.

Road Markings
Road markings (particularly paint) are often
slippery when wet and can cause bicyclists to
fall. Paint containing grit may be used in
particularly hazardous locations.

Bike lanes and shared lanes each have their own
roadway marking that is similar yet distinctive to
help users identify the two different facility
types. Bike lanes use a symbol of a person on a
bike with an arrow above indicating the proper
direction of travel. Shared lanes use the
―sharrow,‖ a bicycle with two forward pointing
chevrons.



Bicycle Lane
Marking
Shared Lane
Marking



Crosswalks
Marked crosswalks enhance, under certain
conditions, the visibility of preferred crossing
locations for pedestrians. Although motorists
and bicyclists are required to yield to pedestrians
within both marked and unmarked crosswalks,
yielding may be enhanced at well-marked
crossings.

Curb Cuts
Curb cuts provide a gradual transition between
the street and the sidewalk making travel easier
for some seniors and disabled persons,
particularly those in wheelchairs. The preferred
installation of curb cuts is to have them directly
aligned with the sidewalk and the crosswalk,
generally two curb cuts per corner. This
alignment makes a pedestrian‘s desired direction
of travel clearer to motorists, aids visually
impaired pedestrians, shortens the time a
pedestrian is in the street and guides them away

14

from the apex of the curve where motorists are
turning.



Pedestrian Signals
When present, pedestrian signals regulate when
pedestrians may or may not cross a street. They
may also change the timing of the signal to favor
pedestrian crossings. A white hand or ―WALK‖
indicates that pedestrians are permitted to start
crossing and that other traffic should be yielding
the right of way to them. A flashing red hand or
―DON‘T WALK‖ signal indicates that
pedestrians should not start crossing but may
continue to cross the street if they have already
started to do so. A solid red hand or ―DON‘T
WALK‖ signal means that pedestrians should
not enter the street or should exit the street as
soon as possible. Some signals incorporate a
countdown timer that shows pedestrians how
much time they have left to safely cross the
street.

Some pedestrian signals operate automatically
while others require that the pedestrian activate
them by pushing a button. A ―WALK‖ signal
may not appear and the signal timing may not
change for a pedestrian at a manual signal if the
button is not pushed.

Pedestrian signals only apply to pedestrians and
bicyclists who have dismounted from their
bicycles and are walking within a crosswalk.

Bulb Outs
Bulb outs, or curb extensions, extend sidewalks
into intersections at street corners or mid-block.
This treatment makes pedestrians more visible to
traffic, slows motor vehicle speeds and shortens
crossing distances, all of which improve
pedestrian safety.

Raised Medians
Raised medians provide a refuge for pedestrians
and allow them to cross roadways in stages. It is
the single most important improvement to aid
pedestrians in crossing an uncontrolled
intersection. Medians should be a minimum of 6
feet wide and equipped with curb ramps or
provide an at-grade surface for pedestrians.

Parking Restrictions
Restricting parking near crosswalks improves
visibility of and for pedestrians crossing a street.
Motorists must park a minimum of 20 feet from
a crosswalk at an intersection.

Signs and Signals
Signs and signals such as ―No Right on Red‖ or
―Turning Vehicles Yield to Pedestrians‖ may be
used to improve pedestrian safety.

Small Curve Radii
Small curve radii force vehicular traffic to
decrease speed when turning, improving safety.
However, this may make turning for trucks more
difficult.


Most of the intersection treatments to improve
pedestrian safety also have a positive effect on
the safety of bicyclists, those riding on the
sidewalk (where permitted) as well as those
operating in the roadway as vehicles. The
primary benefit of these treatments is that they
improve visibility, predictability and slow traffic
speeds.

There is no state law regulating the use of
bicycles on sidewalks, however many parishes

15

and municipalities have local ordinances banning
or restricting bicycles from sidewalks.

Bicycle Lanes
-Bicycle lanes may help bicyclists at
intersections by encouraging proper lane
position.
-Bicycle lanes to the left of a right turn only lane
set up an intersection for predictable
bicycle travel.

Modern Roundabouts
In addition to stop signs and traffic signals, a
relatively new traffic management design, the
modern roundabout, is appearing at some of our
busier intersections.

A modern roundabout is ―a circular intersection
with:
Yield control on all approaches
Islands to separate flows of traffic from each
other and from pedestrians
Geometric features to slow down traffic‖
(6)


The most common advantages to roundabouts
include:
Lower delays than signals
Smaller queues
Reduce the need for widening between
intersections
Fewer, and much less serious, conflicts
between vehicle movements

To use a roundabout pedestrians should:
Cross only at designated crossing locations
Watch for cars; motorists must give you the
right-of-way but they may not be paying
enough attention
Not cross over to the center island

*Most roundabouts have splinter islands that let
you cross one direction of traffic at a time,
behind a motorist that is at the yield line.

To use a roundabout bicyclists can:
Take the lane and circulate like other
vehicles
Dismount and walk their bicycle like a
pedestrian
Use a specially marked bike lane or path if
one exists

Roundabouts circulate traffic instead of bringing
it to a complete stop. This increases the capacity
of some intersections. Also, the circular traffic
pattern of a roundabout eliminates left turns and
has proven to decrease crashes by 35 to 85
percent over traditional stop controlled
intersections. Roundabouts may present
pedestrians and bicyclists with additional
complexities at intersections.



Traffic Calming
Traffic calming involves the physical change of
streets to reduce vehicular speeds, eliminate cut-
through traffic patterns and to create a more
pleasant street environment for residents. Air
pollution and noise can also be reduced through
calming traffic. Traffic calming is done
primarily on neighborhood streets and involves
the use of such devices as speed bumps and
humps, traffic circles, medians, neck downs and
others to control traffic. Bicycle, as well as
pedestrian, safety and enjoyment is generally
improved through calming traffic. Traffic
calming is done primarily on neighborhood
streets and involves the use of such devices as
speed humps, traffic circles, medians, neck
downs and others to control traffic. Pedestrian,
as well as bicyclist, safety and enjoyment is
generally improved through traffic calming, but
if traffic calming is not done considerately, it
may become more of a hazard to bicyclists.




16

Overpasses and Underpasses
Overpasses or underpasses are often good
alternatives to crossing large, high trafficked
roadways at-grade for pedestrians and bicyclists.
This is particularly true for children, the elderly
and disabled persons who may not have the
mental or the physical abilities necessary to
negotiate the complexities of some traffic
situations.

Required design characteristics include:
-Surface equal to adjacent trail plus shoulder
-Minimum 8 feet of overhead clearance
-Relatively level
-Good sight lines

Desirable design characteristics:
-Open and inviting
-Oriented to promote public safety
-Lighting

Public Transit
Pedestrians have long been the main focus of
public transit. However, buses are increasingly
being equipped with bicycle racks, which enable
bicyclists to combine trips for both recreation
and transportation with transit. Public transit
greatly increases the mobility of pedestrians and
bicyclists by combining a safe, enjoyable and
inexpensive alternative to walking and bicycling.
Public transit also provides a transportation
option during inclement weather and in case of a
mechanical problem.

Several of Louisiana‘s public transit agencies
have installed bike racks on some or all of their
bus fleets. However, some require passengers to
be pre-certified in order to use these racks.

Designing for Enforcement
Given that no facility can be designed or built to
eliminate all illegal or dangerous behaviors, it is
important to consider the need for enforcement
in the design process. For example, building
underpasses and overpasses so that their length
can be observed from an adjacent road makes it
easy for law enforcement to check the facility for
suspicious activity. Providing pullouts near busy
intersections gives officers a place to sit with
their squad cars and observe traffic and
discourage dangerous behavior.




Louisiana Public Transit Agencies with Fixed
Routes
City Buses
Buses
with
Racks
Certification
Required
Alexandria
(A-TRANS)
8 0 NA
Baton Rouge
(CATS)
57 57 Yes
Houma
(GET)
8 8 Yes
Jefferson
(JeT)
40 40 Yes
Lafayette
(LTS)
17 12 No
Lake Charles
(LCTS)
7 0 NA
LSU Tiger
Trails

Monroe
(MTS)
25 25 No
New Orleans
(RTA)
60 60 No
Shreveport
(SporTran)
46 0 NA
St. Bernard
(SBURT)
5 0 NA


1. United States. AASHTO. Guide for the
Planning, Design and Operation of
Pedestrian Facilities. Washington:
American Association of State Highway and
Transportation Officials, 2004.

2. United States. AASHTO. Guide for the
Development of Bicycle Facilities.
Washington: American Association of State
Highway and Transportation Officials, 1999.

3. United States. Dept. of Transportation.
Manual for Uniform Traffic Control
Devices. Millennium ed. Washington:
Federal Highway Administration, 2000.

4. Louisiana Dept. of Transportation and
Development. Statewide Bicycle and
Pedestrian Master Plan, 1998.

5. California. Dept. of Transportation.
Highway Design Manual. Chapter 1000,
Bikeway Planning and Design, Bikeway
Surface Tolerances, Sacramento: February
2001.


17

6. Streetwise - Special Roundabout Insert.
Kittelson & Associates, Inc, November
1999.



18



Upon completing this section, students will be
able to:

1. Describe why on-bike training is important
for law enforcement officers.
2. Perform a basic personal and bicycle safety
check.
3. Perform several basic bicycle handling
skills.
4. Discuss many of the hazards, which
bicyclists encounter on a daily basis.


On-bike training is important for all law
enforcement officers. No one would consider
learning how to shoot a gun by simply watching
a video, listening to a lecture, or reading a book.
Shooting and bicycling are both skills, and must
be learned through hands-on practice. In order to
truly understand bicycling, you must ride a
bicycle – at least a little..

Just as you check your uniform (Do I have
bullets?) and squad (Gas? O2?) before you start
your shift, it is equally important to check
yourself and your bicycle before you ride.

The head to toe check is a good way to ensure
that you are good to go before you ride.
Understanding how to perform this safety check
on yourself will also improve your ability to
identify safety problems with other riders.
Always check the following:

Helmet: the helmet should fit snuggly and
level on the head, protecting the forehead.
Straps should form a ―V‖ under the ear
lobes. The chin strap should be buckled and
snug, allowing no more than one or two
fingers between chin and strap.

Glasses: protect eyes from debris and sun‘s
damaging ultraviolet rays.

Shirt: should not interfere with bicycling
movement or get snagged on bike.

Gloves: protect the hands from road
vibration and abrasions in case of a fall.

Shorts: pad your butt, but should not catch
the bike seat when moving fore and aft.

Pants: cuffs should be secured (strap, rubber
band, tucked in sox) to avoid catching on the
chain ring –Ouch!

Shoes (laces): laces (if any) need to be
secured (double tied) to avoid catching on
the chain ring-Ouch again!

Before riding any bicycle, you should always do
a safety check. Train yourself to scan other‘s
bikes for problems as well. Always check the
following:

A: Air
Tire pressure: make sure that the tires are
properly inflated. The proper pressure range
is printed on the tire‘s sidewall. Higher tire
pressures will reduce rolling resistance and
give a firmer ride, but will also decrease
traction on softer surfaces. Lower tire
pressures will increase traction on soft
surfaces and will soften up the ride, but will
increase rolling resistance and may subject
the rim to more damage in high-impact
situations.

Wheels: spin both wheels and check to see
that the rims are true. Watch the distance
between the rim and the break shoe as the
wheel spins. The distance should be the
same all of the way around the wheel. If the
distance varies more than 1/16 inch, have it
adjusted. Out of true wheels can adversely
effect braking.

Headset: put on the front brake and rock the
bike forwards and back. Listen and feel for
any looseness. There should be none. If the
headset is loose, have it adjusted before
riding the bike.

B: Brakes
Front and rear brakes: alternately put on the
brakes and attempt to move the bike. It

19

should not move. Brake levers should not
touch the handlebars.

C: Cranks and Chain
Bottom bracket: grab both crank arms and
try to move them sideways. If there is any
play, the bottom bracket or axel bolt should
be tightened or repaired. This will help
avoid any unnecessary pitting to the races or
other damage.

Quick Check
Quick-release hubs: make sure that they are
tight. The lever should leave an imprint on
your palm. Caution: These can be put on
backwards and then are not properly
secured—look for locking information.

Seat height: if necessary, adjust the seat to
the proper height to improve performance
and avoid injuries. New riders should be
able to touch the ground with their tiptoes
while sitting on the seat. More experienced
riders should have a slight bend (30 degrees
or so) to their knee when the pedal is in the
down position and the rider is sitting on the
seat. Seat posts may have quick-releases as
well.

Checkout ride: take a short checkout ride,
around a parking lot, to make sure that the
gears and bike in general is working
properly and is comfortable. Fix any
problems before you start your ride.

Demonstrate and practice various
techniques taught to help cyclists avoid
crashes.

Braking
Looking over shoulder
Rock dodge
Quick turn
Lane positioning
Riding in traffic
Lane changes
Crossing railroad tracks

Take a bicycle tour of the local area highlighting
as many of the facilities and techniques
discussed as possible.


1. League of American Bicyclists. League
Guide to Safe and Enjoyable Cycling.
Washington DC: League of American
Bicyclists, 2006.

20


OBJECTIVES

Upon completing this section, students will be
able to:

1. State the approximate number of pedestrians
and bicyclists killed and injured each year in
the United States and Louisiana.
2. Differentiate between ―accident‖ and
―crash.‖
3. Identify the most common pedestrian and
bicycle crash types for children and adults.
4. List the (pedestrian, bicycle and motor
vehicle) violations of the law which most
significantly contribute to pedestrian and
bicycle crashes with motor vehicles and fear
of crashes.


A report of a pedestrian or bicycle crash always
gets the blood going a little faster than a
―regular‖ call. Why? In our minds, cars usually
hit pedestrians and bicyclists and these crashes
usually involve children. As we mentally
prepare ourselves for the call, we think, ―This
may not be a pretty sight.‖

Data indicates that a high percent of reported
crashes are caused by driver error. Therefore,
law enforcement is an important component of
pedestrian and bicycle crash prevention.

Over the past decade, traffic safety experts have
been moving away from the term accident in
favor of the term crash to describe a collision.
An accident is an unexpected happening. It
cannot be predicted or prevented. Crashes, on
the other hand, are predictable and preventable
and, therefore, are not ―accidents.‖ However,
due to its common use, the word ―accident‖ may
be used from time to time in this manual in place
of the word ―crash.‖

In 2007, 4,654 pedestrians were killed and
70,000 injured in reported crashes with motor
vehicles in the United States.
(1)
During this same
year, in Louisiana, 111 pedestrians were killed,
and 1,016 injured in reported crashes with motor
vehicles. ―Pedestrian fatalities make up
approximately 10 percent of all highway
fatalities each year in Louisiana.‖
(2)
On average,
one pedestrian is killed or injured in Louisiana
every 6.7 hours.

In 2007, 698 bicyclists were killed and 43,000
injured in reported bicycle crashes with motor
vehicles in the United States.
(3)
During this same
year, in Louisiana, 23 bicyclists were killed, and
545 injured in reported crashes with motor
vehicles.
(2)
That is an average of one bicyclist
killed or injured in Louisiana every 12.5 hours.
Now consider that the actual number of people
injured may be more than 10 times higher than
reported. There were two studies done in North
Carolina in the mid-1980s using hospital
emergency room data, which indicated that only
10-20 percent of bicycle crashes were ever
reported.
(4,5)
Pedestrian crash reporting has been
limited as well and, unfortunately, it is unlikely
that reporting has improved significantly in the
past two decades.

For example, between 1999 and 2002, Charity
Hospital in New Orleans treated 2,561 people for
pedestrian and bicycle injuries. Charity Hospital
is where all traumas in Orleans Parish were taken
for treatment, so on average there were close to
650 people treated annually in Orleans Parish
alone for pedestrian and bicycle crashes (the
reported bicycle/pedestrian injuries in 2005 for
the 5 parish region was 743).
(6)
Hospital data
indicates that in 1999, 614,594 people were
injured from bicycles and accessories
nationwide.
(7)


―On average, a bicyclist who is not killed in an
accident can expect to spend 1.4 days in the
hospital and a similar amount of time in bed at
home. In addition, the injured bicyclist will lose
over four days of work or school and will suffer
almost 24 days of pain or discomfort after
returning to work or school. It has been
estimated that only those bicycle-motor vehicle
accidents reported to police involve a total
annual cost to society of $275 million dollars.‖
(8)


It is vitally important that all law enforcement
officers have at least a basic understanding of
pedestrian and bicycle crashes and know the
crash data for their jurisdiction.


21

The most important crash information for
officers to know is:

What type(s) of crashes are most common?
Where do they most often occur?
When do they most often occur?
Who is most often involved?
Why do these crashes occur and reoccur?
How can they be prevented?

With this information, officers can direct their
patrols and enforcement activities to where they
will be the most effective.

We are all pedestrians during some part of our
day. If you are an officer on foot patrol or
simply getting to and from your patrol car, you
are a pedestrian. As a pedestrian, you are subject
to all of the same risks and need all of the same
accommodations and protections as other
pedestrians. How do pedestrian injuries happen?

Falls are the leading cause of injuries to
pedestrians.

―For pedestrians, 78 percent of non-collision
events occurred off the roadway and over half
(58 percent) of these were on sidewalks. Young
children were particularly overrepresented in
sidewalk injury events, as were senior
pedestrians age 65+.‖
(9)


While the majority of pedestrian injuries are the
result of simple falls, most serious injuries and
fatalities to pedestrians are caused by a collision
of some kind with a motor vehicle. The Federal
Highway Administration published a study by
Hunter, et al, Pedestrian and Bicycle Crash
Types of the Early 1990s, in 1996, which, based
on previous work done in the field and
independent research, identified and grouped the
leading types of pedestrian vs. motor vehicle
crashes. The most common crash types and
some of their enforcement, education and
engineering countermeasures from the Hunter
report are listed below.

As a whole, intersection crashes accounted for
32% of the National crashes. Midblock crashes
were significant as well, about 26% nationally.
The most common intersection and midblock
crash types follow:

Vehicle turn/merge at intersection (9.8 %
nationally)
Description: Pedestrian was struck by
turning/merging vehicle at intersection.

Overrepresented Variables:
Pedestrian age 45-65; 65+
Pedestrian Gender female
Driver age 65+
Location urban
Time of Day 6-10 am: 10am-2pm
Light Condition daylight
Traffic Control signal; stop sign
Number of Lanes 3-4

Causes: Motorist turns into intersection without
searching for and yielding to pedestrian.

Relevant state statute: R.S. 32:123, stop at stop
sign; R.S. 32:232, traffic-control signal; R.S.
32:101, required position and method of turning
at intersections, R.S. 32:64, speed.

Enforcement countermeasures: Enforce laws
that require motorists to yield the right of way to
pedestrians at intersections.

Education countermeasures: Teach motorists to
search for and yield to pedestrians in
intersections. Instruct pedestrians how to safely,
and legally cross the street at intersections and
teach them about common motorist driving
errors at intersections which lead to injury and
death of pedestrians.

Engineering countermeasures: Removing visual
obstructions, narrowing intersections with
treatments such as bulbouts and slowing traffic
speeds can all improve pedestrian safety at
intersections.

Intersection dash (7.2% nationally)
Description: Pedestrian ran into intersection
and/or motorist‘s view was blocked.

Overrepresented Variables:
Pedestrian age 0-9; 10-14
Road class local
Time of Day 2-6pm
Light Condition daylight

Causes: Pedestrian, often a child, unexpectedly
ran into the road. Pedestrian may have
misjudged the speed of traffic (motorist may
have been speeding) and/or the

22

motorist‘s/pedestrian‘s view may have been
obstructed.

Relevant state statute: R.S. 32:212(B), not
yielding to vehicle (cross-walks), sudden entry
into roadway, R.S. 32:233 pedestrian-control
signals; R.S. 32:64, speed.

Enforcement countermeasures: Enforce laws
which restrict pedestrians from entering
intersections in an unsafe manner. Also, enforce
laws which make it difficult for motorists to
strike pedestrians who may be crossing
intersections at unexpected locations and/or
unsafely.

Education countermeasures: Teach pedestrians
how to cross safely and legally at expected
locations and times at intersections. Instruct
motorists to anticipate pedestrians at
intersections and to watch for common
pedestrian crossing errors.

Engineering countermeasures: Removing visual
obstructions, narrowing intersections with
treatments such as bulbouts and slowing traffic
speeds can all improve pedestrian safety at
intersections.

Other intersection (10.1% nationally)
Description: This crash type includes multiple
scenarios such as driver violations (sign or signal
violation, careless driving, etc.), multiple threat
(first motorist stops, but second motorist in
adjacent lane continues striking pedestrian),
trapped (pedestrian is unable to clear intersection
before cross traffic enters), pedestrian walks into
vehicle.

Overrepresented Variables:
Pedestrian age 65+
Sobriety pedestrian alcohol
Light Condition dark, light
Traffic Control signal
Number of Lanes 3-4; 5-6

Causes: Multiple causes.

Relevant state statute: Multiple violations.

Enforcement countermeasures: Multiple
countermeasures.

Education countermeasures: Multiple strategies.

Engineering countermeasures: Multiple
strategies.

Midblock dart-out/dash (13.3% nationally)
Description: Pedestrian darts out into traffic
when the motorist‘s view is blocked or
pedestrian dashes (runs) into road when the
motorist‘s view is not blocked.

Overrepresented Variables:
Pedestrian age 0-9; 10-14
Time of Day 2-6pm
Light Condition daylight
Number of Lanes 2

Causes: Pedestrian did not see or misjudges the
speed of approaching vehicle.

Relevant state statute: R.S. 32: 213, crossing at
other than cross walks; R.S. 32:64, speed.

Enforcement countermeasures: Enforce laws
which prohibit pedestrians from suddenly
entering the roadway midblock. Enforce speed
violations to make crossing more predictable for
pedestrians and to decrease injuries if pedestrians
are struck.

Education countermeasures: Teach pedestrians
to cross at predictable locations, intersections,
and use additional care when crossing at
locations other than intersections. Encourage
motorists not to speed to assist them in avoiding
crashes with pedestrians and to decrease the
severity of unavoidable crashes. Walking and
driving while intoxicated contribute to pedestrian
vs. vehicle crashes.

Engineering countermeasures: Traffic calming
measures which decrease lane width and slow
traffic speeds (bulbouts, medians, speed tables,
chicanes, etc.) may improve pedestrian safety
midblock.

Other midblock (13.2% nationally)
Description: This crash type includes multiple
scenarios such as multiple threat (first motorist
stops, but second motorist in adjacent lane
continues striking pedestrian), trapped
(pedestrian is unable to clear intersection before
cross traffic enters) and pedestrian walks into
vehicle.





23

Overrepresented Variables:
Sobriety Pedestrian alcohol
Light Condition dark
Road Class State route
Number of Lanes 3-4; 5-6

Causes: Multiple causes.

Relevant state statute: Multiple violations.

Enforcement countermeasures: Multiple
countermeasures.

Education countermeasures: Multiple strategies.

Engineering countermeasures: Multiple
strategies.

Non-intersection or Midblock Crashes
The following crash types are not classified as
being intersection or midblock in nature.

Not in the Roadway/Waiting to Cross (8.6%
nationally)
Description: This crash type includes scenarios
where the pedestrian and vehicle were not in the
roadway; the pedestrian was not in the roadway;
vehicle left the roadway and pedestrian was
waiting to cross; vehicle was turning.

Overrepresented Variables:
No overrepresented variables

Causes: Motorist failed to observe pedestrian in
parking lot, left the roadway or misjudged turn.

Relevant state statute: Multiple violations.

Enforcement countermeasures: Multiple
countermeasures.

Education countermeasures: Multiple strategies.

Engineering countermeasures: Multiple
strategies.

Walking along the roadway (7.9% nationally)
Walking with traffic; struck from behind walking
against traffic; struck from behind

Description: Pedestrian was walking along
roadway with traffic (71%) and was struck from
behind or was walking against traffic (21%) and
was struck from behind (passing).


Overrepresented Variables:
Pedestrian age 15-44
Sobriety both alcohol
Location rural
Light Condition dark, no lights
Number of Lanes 2

Causes: Motorist was driving without
headlights. Pedestrian was hard to see because
of lighting conditions and/or clothing and/or did
not yield the roadway.

Relevant state statute: R.S. 32:64, speed; R.S.
32:216. Pedestrians on highways or interstate
highways.

Enforcement countermeasures: Enforce speed
regulations. Enforce laws requiring pedestrians
to walk facing traffic and to yield the roadway to
approaching vehicles if practicable.

Education countermeasures: Teach motorists to
use extra caution and to look for pedestrians on
the roadway, especially at night.

Engineering countermeasures: Provide
sidewalks for pedestrians and provide sufficient
roadway lighting to improve pedestrian‘s
visibility to vehicle operators.

Vehicle backing (7% nationally)
Description: Motorist backs up (parking lot,
travel lane, driveway/alley, sidewalk) and strikes
pedestrian.

Overrepresented Variables:
Pedestrian age 65+
Pedestrian Gender female
Time of day 10am-2pm
Light Condition daylight

Causes: Motorist does not scan properly for
pedestrians.

Relevant state statute: R.S. 32:281. Limitations
on backing. Others vary with location of
collision.

Enforcement countermeasures: Enforce laws,
where applicable, which require vehicle
operators to use due care when backing their
vehicle.

Education countermeasures: Teach vehicle
operators to always look for pedestrians
whenever backing their vehicle. Teach

24

pedestrians to use extra care when in areas where
vehicles are backing up.

Engineering countermeasures: Try to avoid
creating situations where vehicle operators are
required to back their vehicles and pedestrians
are required to walk behind backing vehicles.

When we talk about bicycle crashes, most people
assume that we are talking about car-bike
crashes. But, car-bike crashes account for only
17 percent of bicycle crashes. In fact, 50 percent
of all bicycle crashes are caused by falls.

Type of
Accident
Proportion Percent
(11)

Falls 1/2 50
Car-bike 1/6 17
Bike-bike 1/6 17
Bike-dog 1/12 8
All other 1/12 8

Note: The data in the above table is based on a
study, which was conducted in the mid-1970s
using experienced cyclists (Kaplan, Jerome A.,
Characteristics of the Regular Adult Bicycle
User, 1975). While this study represents the best
data currently available, it does have limitations
due to its age and the types of bicyclists used.

Car-bike crashes account for the majority of
deaths and serious injuries. Motor vehicles are
involved in 90-92 percent of bicyclist deaths and
12 percent of injuries.
(11)
For this reason, it is
important to study car-bike crashes.

―The study of cycling accidents is quite new;
there were no scientific studies of accidents to
Amercian cyclists until 1974.‖
(10)
The landmark
study in this area was done by Cross and Fisher
in 1977.
(12)
The study (A Study of Bike/Motor
Vehicle Accidents: Identification of Problem
Types and Countermeasure Approaches) looked
at 166 fatal and 753 nonfatal bicycle-motor
vehicle collisions in four sampling areas of the
United States. These crashes were grouped into
six classes containing 37 types of crashes.
Together these six classes accounted for 86
percent of the fatal and 89 percent of the nonfatal
crashes investigated.

The Cross and Fisher study provides a great deal
of valuable information and is the study on
which most bicycle education programs for
children are based. But, it must be pointed out
that this information does have its limitations.
The majority of the victims, 63 percent, in the
Cross and Fisher study were children under 16
years of age, and fatal crashes are extremely
overrepresented as a percentage of total crashes
studied. Caution should be taken not to apply
the findings in Cross and Fisher to all bicyclists.

In 1996, the Federal Highway Administration
published a study by Hunter, et al, Pedestrian
and Bicycle Crash Types of the Early 1990’s,
which essentially validated the findings of the
Cross and Fisher study however.
(13)


A study done by Ross in Madison, Wisconsin in
1992 studied 774 crashes involving bicyclists
and motorists.
(14)
In this study, 88 percent of the
victims were 15 years of age or older. This
study is probably a much better representation of
the types of crashes in which adults are involved.

The most common types of car-bike crashes for
children and adults are listed below.
Descriptions, causes, relevant state statutes and
enforcement, education, and engineering
coutnermeasures for each crash type are also
provided.

Based on the Cross and Hunter studies, the most
common types of crashes children are involved
in are as follows:
Cross Hunter
Crash Type Nonfatal Fatal Nonfatal Fatal
Bicyclist
stop sign or
red signal
volation
17 % 12% 18 % 12%
Bicyclist
unexpected
turn/swerve
14% 16% 15% 9%
Bicylist
rideout
14% 15% 15% 22%


Note: Wrong-way riding, although not a crash
type, is an important contributing factor in all
child bicycle crash types (except for rideouts
where wrong-way riding is not possible).

Relevant state statutes: R.S. 32:197, riding on
roadways and bicycle paths.





25

Bicyclist stop sign or red signal violation
Description: This is a common child crash type,
where a bicyclist rides through a stop sign or red
signal without stopping and then yielding to
traffic, or stops, but then proceeds before the
way is clear. The majority of bicyclists were
struck by vehicles coming from their left (near)
side.

Causes: Bicyclist was distracted; bicylist has
ridden through intersection many times before
and there was rarely any cross traffic, so assumes
there will be no cross traffic this time; a friend
has just ridden through the intersection and
bicyclist assumes that the way is clear for
him/her as well; bicyclist has observed motorists
and other bicyclists failing to come to a complete
stop at this and other stop signs and signals and,
therefore, assumes that it is not necessary to stop.
Bicyclist sees motorists running the red light at
the change between yellow and red, and thus
thinks that red signals are not that important.

23 percent of the bicyclists were traveling the
wrong-way in the Hunter study.

Relevant state statutes: R.S. 32:123, stop at stop
sign; R.S. 32:232, traffic-control signal; R.S.
32:71, Driving on right side of road.

Enforcement countermeasures: Communitywide
targeted enforcement of bicyclist (motorist)
failure to stop for stop sign and red signals.
Enforcement of wrong-way riding for young
bicyclists.

Education countermeasures: Teach bicyclists
(and motorists) the importance of always
stopping for stop signs and red signals and
yielding to cross traffic before proceeding.
Teach scanning pattern of left-right-left to
bicylists (motorists).

Engineering countermeasures: Place stop signs
only where they are warranted. Stop sign
installations for purposes for which they are
unintended, such as speed control or traffic
diversion, leads to disobedience of stop signs by
motorists and bicylists and can contribute to this
crash type. Devices such as traffic circles and
roundabouts eliminate cross traffic and the need
to stop at intersections.

Bicyclist unexpected turn/merge
Description: Bicylist turns into the path of a
following motor vehicle. The majority of these
crashes result from the bicyclist unexpectedly
turning left. In most cases, the motorist does not
have time to react.

Causes: Bicyclist fails to look behind for traffic
before turning; bicyclist misjudged approaching
vehicle speed and distance; bicyclist assumes
that he/she will hear approaching vehicle;
relative difficulty of scanning to the rear;
motorist assumes that the bicyclist will continue
going straight and/or does not pick up on cues
that the bicyclist may turn/swerve, such as kids
on other side of street, parked cars, pot holes,
debris, etc., on road ahead of bicyclist that
bicyclist may swerve around; motorist
attempting to pass too closely (less than three
feet).

Relevant state statutes: 32:101, required
position and method of turning at intersections;
R.S. 32:64, speed.

Enforcement countermeasures: Enforce bicycle
laws which relate to turning. Enforce laws
which effect motorist‘s ability to avoid a crash,
such as speed.

Education countermeasures: The critical error in
this crash type is not looking behind for traffic
before turning or changing position on the road.
Teach bicyclists that the most important thing to
do before changing course is to scan to the rear
and make sure that it is safe to turn. Teaching
hand signals is not an effective countermeasure.
Hand signals do not give the bicyclist enough
information to make a safe turn or move over/go
around an obstruction. Also, hand signals do not
tell following motorists exactly where the
bicyclist is going to turn or if the bicyclist is
going to wait for the motorist to pass. By
looking back, the byclist has the needed
information and can communicate with the
motorist.

Engineering countermeasures: Make sure that
the edge of the road, the area where bicyclists
ride most often, is free of potholes, cracks,
parallel slot drain grates, debris, etc. This
enables bicyclists to ride a stright line without
swerving around these hazards. Reduce or
eliminate on-street parking, widen streets to
provide room for bicyclists.




26

Bicylist rideout from a driveway, alley or
other mid-block location
Description: Bicylist enters the roadway from a
driveway, alley, or over the curb or shoulder.
This crash type is most common among younger
children. Most (54-72 percent depending upon
the rideout location) are hit by a motorist
approaching from their left. Often, there are
visual obstructions such as parked cars, trees or
other landscaping, fences, etc.
(8)


Causes: Bicylist did not stop and yield to traffic
on the street before entering the road because
he/she was distracted, assumed that there was no
traffic or that a riding partner had checked for
traffic or the rider msijudged a gap in traffic.
Young bicyclists do not understand the basic
right-of-way rule that traffic entering a street
yields to traffic already on the street.

Relevant state statutes: R.S. 32:124, vehicle
entering highway from private road, driveway,
alley or building, R.S. 32:64, speed.

Enforcement countermeasures: Enforce laws
which prohibit bicyclists from entering the
roadway in an unexpected manner, enforce laws
which affect a motor vehicle driver‘s ability to
avoid a crash, such as speed. Enforce on-street
parking regulations near driveways, alleys and
corners. Enforce building codes and/or zoning
ordinances prohibiting visual obstructions at
driveways, alleys and corners.

Note visual obstructions on crash reports.

Education countermeasures: Teach bicyclists to
stop and scan left-right-left before entering the
roadway; teach motorists to reduce their speed
and anticipate where bicyclists may enter the
road.

Engineering countermeasures: Create street
designs which discourage bicyclists from
entering the road at locations other than
driveways and intersections, limit obstructions
such as vegetation and parked cars.

According to the Ross and Hunter studies, these
are the types of crashes that adult bicyclists are
most often involved in. The Ross study had very
few fatal crashes to study, so percentages are
listed for all crashes.


Ross Hunter
Crash Type Frequency Frequency
Motorist turn/merge
into bicyclist‘s path
34% 12%
Motorist driving out
from a stop sign or
flashing red light
16% 11%
Motorist exiting a
driveway or alley
10% 7%
Bicyclist
rideout/through
intersection
7% 17%
Motorist overtaking
bicyclist
4% 9%

Motorist turn/merge into bicyclist’s path
Description: This crash type occurs when a
motorist turns into the path of a bicyclist. The
most common forms of this crash occurred when
the motorist turned left in front of a bicyclist
going the opposite direction (23% Ross; 6%
Hunter), and when the motorist turned right in
front of a bicyclist traveling parallel to him/her
(7% Ross, 5% Hunter).

Causes: Motorist did not adequately scan for
traffic and failed to observe bicyclist in time to
avoid crash; motorist misjudged speed of
bicyclist; motorist‘s view of bicyclist was
blocked by other traffic; improper passing.

Relevant state statues: R.S. 32:101, required
position and method of turning at intersections;
R.S. 32:122, vehicle turning left at intersection;
R.S. 32:73, passing a vehicle on the left.

Enforcement countermeasures: Enforce laws for
motorists (bicyclists) which affect safe turning,
right-of-way and passing.

Education countermeasures: Teach adult
bicyclists that this is a common crash type and to
watch oncoming/overtaking drivers for
indications that they will turn across your path.
Learn emergency/evasive maneuvers (instant
turn, quick stop, etc.). Encourage bicyclists to
wear bright and retro reflective clothing. Teach
motorists to scan for and yield to bicyclists
before turning; not to pass a bicyclist close to an
intersection or driveway where they are planning
to turn right.

Engineering countermeasures: Time traffic
signals to avoid trapping bicyclists. Reduce
visual obstructions at intersections. Intersections
should be well lit at night.

27

Motorist driving out from a stop sign
Description: Motorist facing a stop sign fails to
yield to a bicyclist. Motorist had stopped at stop
sign before proceeding in 90 percent of these
crashes in the Ross study, but then failed to yield
to the bicyclist before proceeding. About half of
the bicyclists in the Ross study had been
operating on a sidewalk and were struck in a
crosswalk (15% in the Hunter study). 94 percent
of the bicyclists in the Ross study struck in the
crosswalk were operating against the flow of
traffic in the adjacent roadway.

Causes: Motorist did not scan to the right for
pedestrian or bicyclist traffic on sidewalk before
proceeding after stopping. Bicyclist assumed
motorist had seen him/her and would remain
stopped until he/she passed. Motorist misjudged
the speed of the bicyclist.

Sidewalk riding (legal or not) is often a
contributing factor in bicycle vs. motor vehicle
crashes. Sidewalk riding places the bicyclist in
an unexpected location for motorists, especially
if the bicyclist is riding against the flow of traffic
in the adjacent roadway.

Relevant state statutes: R.S. 32:123, stop at stop
sign. R.S. 32:71, Driving on right side of road.
R.S. 32:197, riding on roadways and bicycle
paths.

Enforcement countermeasures: Enforce stop sign
violations for motorists (bicyclists).

Education countermeasures: Teach motorists to
scan the full width of the street for bicyclists and
the sidewalk in both directions for pedestrians
and bicyclists before proceeding from a stop
sign. Teach bicyclists that this is a common
crash type especially if operating on the sidewalk
against traffic. Do not ride out from the
sidewalk in front of a stopped motorist unless
you have eye contact/communication with the
driver and are sure the driver is waiting for you
to cross.

Engineering countermeasures: Only place stop
signs where they are warranted. Eliminate site
obstructions near intersections to allow good
visibility of both the road and sidewalk for a
driver stopped behind the stop bar. Provide good
lighting of intersections at night.



Motorist exiting a driveway or alley
Description: Bicyclist is struck by a motorist
while the motorist is exiting a driveway or alley.
The motorist was facing forward in 88 percent of
the crashes in the Ross study; 75 percent of the
bicyclists were struck on the sidewalk in the
Ross study, with 78 percent of these traveling
against traffic. In the Hunter study, 48 percent of
the bicyclists were struck on the sidewalk, with
85 percent of these traveling against traffic.

Causes: Motorist fails to stop and/or scan for
bicyclists; bicyclist assumed motorist had seen
him/her and would remain stopped until he/she
passed.

Relevant state statutes: R.S. 32:123, stop at stop
sign; R.S. 32:124. vehicle entering highway from
private road, driveway, alley or building.

Enforcement countermeasures: Enforce laws
which require motorists to stop and yield before
crossing sidewalks and entering traffic.

Education countermeasures: Teach motorists the
importance of stopping before entering traffic
and to scan sidewalks and street for bicyclists;
teach bicyclists to make good eye contact with
motorists and not to assume that they have been
seen, especially when the bicyclist is operating
on the sidewalk. If riding on the sidewalk, ride
in the same direction as traffic in the adjacent
roadway.

Engineering countermeasures: Eliminate visual
obstructions and create better on-street bicycle
accommodations.

Bicyclist rideout/through intersection
Description: Bicyclist rides-out after
stopping/slowing at an intersection or rides
through and intersection without stopping and
strikes a vehicle.

Causes: Bicyclist has gone through intersections
without stopping in the past and has observed
motor vehicles running through the intersection.
Bicyclist was distracted, does not look for traffic
and enters the intersection without stopping.
Bicyclist may see vehicle and assumes the
motorist can see them.

Relevant state statutes: R.S. 32:123, stop at stop
sign.


28

Enforcement countermeasures: Community
wide enforcement of laws relating to ride-
out/through intersections of both bicyclists and
motorists.

Education countermeasures: Teach bicyclists
that riding out or through an intersection is a
violation that is a common bicycle/motor vehicle
crash type. Teach bicyclists to scan both ways
for motor vehicles prior to entering the
intersection. They are a vehicle and must follow
the same rules and regulations as a motor
vehicle.

Engineering countermeasures: Only place stop
signs where warranted. Traffic roundabouts
eliminate cross traffic and the need to stop at
intersections.

Motorist overtaking
Description: Bicyclist is struck from behind by a
motorist going in the same direction. More often
than not these crashes occurred on rural roads at
night and alcohol was often involved (motorist
and/or bicyclist). This crash type is different
from the bicyclist unexpected turn/merge crash
type because the bicyclist did not enter the
motorist‘s lane of travel. This type of crash is
often cited by bicyclists as a reason to ride
against the flow of traffic. However, it needs to
be emphasized to bicyclists that the dangers of
riding against traffic and frequency of crashes
resulting from that action far outweigh the
dangers and likeihood of a being struck from
behind.

Causes: Speed, alcohol, improper lane usage
and/or passing, inadequate bicycle lighting and
reflectorization. All that is legally required on
the rear of a bicycle at night is a red reflector. It
does not matter if the bicyclsit had a headlight or
not, the motorist was overtaking.

Relevant state statutes: R.S. 32:64, Speed; R.S.
32:329, Bicycles; front lamps; side and rear
reflectors; R.S. 14:98, Operating a vehicle while
intoxicated (OWI - motorists only). R.S. 32:73,
Passing a vehicle on the left. R.S. 32:76.1,
Passing bicycles

Enforcement countermeasures: Enforce bicycle
laws and encourage better lighting of bicycles,
beyond what is required by law which may not
be sufficient. Enforce speed and OWI laws,
which may also be contributing factors.

Education countermeasures: Train bicyclists to
use proper equipment, teach motorists to search
for bicycles and not to drive faster than what
their headlights can illuminate. Educate
motorists to pass bicyclists no closer than three
feet.

Engineering countermeasures: Construct wider
curb lanes and paved shoulders; provide
sufficient lighting for night riding.

In the Cross and Hunter studies, males were four
times more likely to be involved in a crash than
females, but in the Ross study, males were only
two times as likely as females to be involved in a
crash.

Sidewalk riding (legal or not) is often a
contributing factor in bicycle vs. motor vehicle
crashes. Sidewalk riding places the bicyclist in
an unexpected location for motorists, especially
if the bicyclist is riding against the flow of traffic
in the adjacent roadway.

As can be seen from the data collected in the
studies by Cross and Fisher, Ross and Hunter et
al, pedestrian and bicycle crashes are predictable
and thus preventable through a combined effort
of engineering, education and enforcement. In
the majority of crashes, some traffic law was
broken either by the pedestrian, bicyclist,
motorist or a combination thereof. For this
reason, it is vitally important that law
enforcement officers take an active role in
enforcing laws, which affect pedestrian and
bicycle safety. Examples of violations which
affect pedestrian and bicyclist safety include:

Pedestrians on highways
or interstate highways R.S. 32:216
Sudden entry into
roadway R.S. 32:212(B)
Traffic-control signal R.S. 32:232
Pedestrian-control signals R.S. 32:233
Crossing at other than
cross walks R.S. 32:213

Riding on roadways and
bicycle paths R.S. 32:197
Stop at stop sign R.S. 32:123
Traffic-control signal R.S. 32:232

29

Required position and
method of turning at
intersections R.S. 32:101
Bicycles; front lamps; side
and rear reflectors R.S. 32:329
Driving on right side of
road. R.S. 32:71

Speed R.S. 32:64
Stop at stop sign R.S. 32:123
Traffic-control signal R.S. 32:232
Required position and
method of turning at
intersections R.S. 32:101
Pedestrians right of way in
cross-walks R.S. 32:212
Vehicle entering highway
from private road,
driveway, alley or
building R.S. 32:124
Vehicle turning left at
intersection R.S. 32:122
Passing a vehicle on the
left R.S. 32:73
Limitations on passing
bicycles R.S.32:76.1
Operating a vehicle while
intoxicated R.S. 14:98

Regardless of the above-mentioned studies,
however, it is important to remember that each
jurisdiction is unique and may have slightly
different crash statistics. Enforcement should be
targeted to the specific needs of the jurisdiction.


1. United States. Dept. of Transportation.
Traffic Safety Facts 2007; Pedestrians.
Washington: National Highway Safety
Administration, 2008.

2. Louisiana State University Highway Safety
Research Group. 2007 Louisiana Traffic
Records Data Report. Louisiana
Department of Transportation and
Development. 2008.

3. United States. Dept. of Transportation.
Traffic Safety Facts 2007; Pedalcylists.
Washington: National Highway Safety
Administration, 2008.

4. Stutts, J. An analysis of Bicycle Accident
Data from Ten North Carolina Hospital
Emergency Rooms. Chapel Hill, North
Carolina: Highway Safety Research Center,
1986.

5. Stutts, J.C., Williamson, J.E., Sheldon, F.C.
―Bicycle accidents: An examination of
hospital emergency room reports and
comparison with police accident data.‖
Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina
Highway Safety Research Center, 1988.

6. Regional Planning Commission Jefferson,
Orleans, St. Bernard and Tammany Parishes.
2005 New Orleans Metropolitan Bicycle and
Pedestrian Plan, September 2006.

7. Consumer Products Safety Review.
Consumer Products Safety Commission. 05
September 2007.
<www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/pubs/cpsr_nws18.
pdf>.

8. United States. Dept. of Transportation.
More Bicycles More Accidents (Contract
No. DOT-HS-7-01726). Washington:
National Highway Safety Administration.

9. William W. Hunter, Jane C. Stutts. Injuries
to Pedestrians and Bicyclists: An Analysis
Based on hospital Emergency Department
Data. USDOT, FHWA Publication No
FHWA-RD-99-078. 1999.

10. Forester, John. Effective Cycling.
Cambridge: MIT Press, 1993.

11. Baker, Susan P., et al. Injuries to Bicyclists:
A National Perspective. St. James: John
Hopkins Injury Prevention Center, 1993.

12. Cross K.D., and Fisher, G. A Study of
Bicycle/Motor Vehicle Accidents:
Identification of Problem Types and
Countermeasure Approaches. Volume I.
Washington, DC: National Highway Safety
Administration, September 1977 (Contract
No. DOT-HS-4-00982, Ref. PB 282 280).

13. Hunter, et al. Pedestrian and Bicycle Crash
Types of the Early 1990’s. USDOT, FHWA
publication No. FHWA-RD-95-163. 1996.


30

14. Ross, Arthur. How Bicycle Crashes
Happen. Madison: Madison Department of
Transportation, 1992.

31



Upon completing this section, students will be
able to:

1. State why law enforcement officers should
receive pedestrian, bicycle and motorist
education.
2. Describe several ways people receive
pedestrian, bicycle and motorist education.
3. Describe how children differ from adults in
their ability to walk and cycle safely.
4. List safety education target audiences and
describe educational goals for each.
5. Explain why wearing a bicycle helmet is
important.
6. Describe several ways officers can provide
pedestrian and bicycle education.


Pedestrian and bicycle education is important for
everyone, adults, children, pedestrians,
bicyclists, motorists, law enforcement officers
and others working in the traffic safety field.
Without better education, it is unrealistic to
expect that there will be a positive change in
pedestrian or bicycle safety in the near future.

Improving the skills and knowledge of
pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists is important
in reducing crash rates. ―( Pedestrians and
bicyclists) . . . learn from experience how to
avoid … collisions, even though this skill is
never taught in school.‖
(1)
With education, they
will learn even faster.

Pedestrian and bicycle education is especially
important for children. For most children,
walking, and then bicycling is their first
exposure to the complexities of traffic. It has
been said that good pedestrians and bicyclists
make better drivers. Children, however, are not
just small adults, they have different
psychological and motor skills, and these change
with age. We need to understand children‘s
developmental stages in order to assess their
limitations in dealing with traffic, and how to
teach them to avoid crashes.

Have one-third less peripheral vision than
adults.
Are not able to perceive danger until they
are about nine or 10 years old.
Cannot easily judge a car‘s speed and
distance.
Are easily distracted.
Often have difficulty determining the
direction of sound.
May be impatient and impulsive.
Assume that if they can see a car, its driver
must be able to see them.
Mix fantasy and reality.
Concentrate on only one thing at a time.
Imitate the (often bad) behavior of others,
especially older children and adults.

People receive pedestrian and bicycle education
from several sources, all of which have their
advantages and disadvantages.

Self-taught:
Inexpensive and convenient but may be time-
consuming, and there is no one to learn from;
bad habits may be learned and retained.

Peers:
Convenient and fun, but the information and
skills being learned may not be appropriate.

Parents:
Parents generally have the best interests of their
children in mind however, they may not be
available; and if they are, they may have bad
information and habits.

Schools:
Very few schools teach pedestrian and bicycle
education, but there are several educational
curricula available (e.g., Safe Routes To School,
The Basics of Bicycling and Bike Ed).

Law Enforcement:
Pedestrian and bicycle education can be formal
or informal. Formal education often includes
safety rodeos, jamborees, and school talks.
While these are all appropriate activities for law
enforcement officers to be involved in, the
concern is that the officers doing the teaching
may not have been taught themselves. Many

32

people incorrectly assume that because a person
is a law enforcement officer that he/she is an
―expert‖ and can teach transportation safety.
Many officers have not ridden a bicycle in years
nor have they gone through any formal
pedestrian or bicycle safety education.

Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Education
Experts:
Various professionals including state and local
pedestrian and bicycle consultants and
coordinators have formalized training in many
aspects of pedestrian and bicycle safety and
education. These experts can provide an
invaluable resource. Unfortunately, there are not
as many of these professionals as needed and
there may be a fee attached to their services.

ENFORCEMENT can be thought of as informal
education by law enforcement officers.

Every contact that a law enforcement officer has
with a pedestrian, bicyclist or motorist sends
some kind of message. If an officer sees a
violation but fails to act, the message to the
offender is that the police do not care and that
the violator is not doing anything wrong. This
one action, or more precisely, inaction, can
defeat hours of good education.

Likewise, the law enforcement officer who fails
to stop a motorist for violating a pedestrian‘s or
bicyclist‘s rights sends the message to motorists
that they are more important than other roadway
users and can foster a hostile environment for all.

Enforcement of pedestrian and bicycle laws, and
rights, by police, be it a quick verbal warning or
a written citation, can very effectively reinforce
the formal safety messages that children and
adults are getting.

The chart below is one expert‘s estimate of the
approximate distance and time required to learn
traffic-safe cycling:
(1)


Type of Learning Miles Months
Self-Teaching 50,000 120-240
Club-Cycling 5,000 24
Learning From Books 2,500 12
Effective Cycling Inst.
(30 hour course)
800 3

Pedestrian and bicycle education traditionally
takes place in three settings: the classroom,
outside but away from traffic and on the street.
Classroom training is very important for learning
the concepts and theories associated with
walking and bicycling, but it does not take the
place of good hands-on instruction. Out-of-
traffic instruction adds to classroom work, but it
is when students get out on the streets where
they actually interact with traffic that the
learning becomes real. Walking and definitely
riding a bicycle, have skill components and, like
any other skills, must be learned through
experience, trial and error. No one would expect
you to learn how to shoot a gun by reading a
book or by having someone explain it to you.
The same is true of walking and bicycle riding.

Law enforcement officers are in the enviable
position of being able to enforce laws, as well as
educate, to improve pedestrian and bicycle
safety. Yet, while pedestrian and bicycle
education are certainly appropriate activities for
police to be involved in, it should not replace
their primary responsibility for enforcement of
laws. Police are the only ones who can enforce
laws to improve pedestrian and bicycle safety
- others can educate.

Arthur Ross, the Bicycle/Pedestrian Coordinator
for the City of Madison, Wisconsin, has
developed a table, which sets up an ongoing
program of traffic safety starting at the youngest
ages and progressing through driver‘s education.
This table identifies developmental ability
groups and what each needs to hear, see, and
practice. It can be very helpful to law
enforcement officers when asked to present or
evaluate safety programs.

33

Target
Audience
Secondary
Audience
Educational Goals
Kids 0-4
(preschool)
Parents
Day Care Providers
Preschool Teachers
Motorists
Police Officers
Directed at parents: How to safely bike with children in
a child seat or bike trailer. Riding toy safety (big
wheels, etc.); driveway and sidewalk issues; stay out of
street (boundaries); helmets.
Kids 5-7
(Grades K-2)
Parents
Preschool Teachers
Teachers
Motorists
Police Officers
General focus on pedestrian safety. How to cross a
street safely; mid-block crossing; curb/edge of road as
boundary. Look left-right-left for traffic. Visibility
issues (e.g., parked car as a visual screen); make own
decision when it is safe to cross, do not just follow the
leader.
Note: These lessons apply to bicycle safety as well.
Kids 8-10
(Grades 3-5)
Parents
Teachers
After School Programs
Motorists
Police Officers
Beginning bicycling on the street; how to enter the
street safely (reemphasis of previous age group
lessons); which side of the road to ride on; checking
for traffic from behind before turning or changing
roadway position; stop signs; hazard awareness and
avoidance; communicating with other road users;
helmets. Learning should take place on-bike as much
as possible.
Kids 11-14
(Grades 6-9)
Parents
Teachers
Motorists
Police Officers
Continuation of previous age group skills and move on
to more advanced skills: emergency stop; rock dodge;
instant turn; lane position in traffic when turning;
multi-geared bikes (cadence); route selection; bike and
helmet selection, fit, and adjustment; how to fix a flat
tire; nutrition for bicycling (eating and drinking);
teaching bicycling as a life-long activity.
Kids 15-18
(Grades 10-12)
Parents
Teachers
Driver‘s Ed Instructors
Motorists
Police Officers
There are two tracks to follow at this age group:
continuation of advanced bicycling skills (operating a
bicycle in traffic as a vehicle) and, in driver‘s
education, teaching how motorists safely interact with
bicyclists (and pedestrians) in traffic.
Adult
Bicyclists
Motorists
Police Officers
Operating a bicycle as a vehicle in traffic; everything
listed above.
Motorists Police Officers How to safely share the road with pedestrians and
bicyclists. Pedestrians‘, Bicyclists‘ and motorists‘
rights and responsibilities vis-à-vis each other.
Parents Day Care Providers
Preschool Teachers
After School Programs
Youth Group Leaders
Police Officers
Proper walking techniques, bike and helmet size, fit,
and adjustment; encourage parents to walk and ride
with their children, observe their abilities, and grant
independence/responsibility as each child is ready.
Most parents will need all the information listed above
for adult pedestrians and bicyclists as well as the
specific information for their children‘s age groups.
Police Officers All of the above as well as the importance of
enforcement (of pedestrian, bicycle and motorist
violations) as part of the overall traffic safety program.

34


While most pedestrian and bicycle crashes occur
during daylight hours, anyone who has driven a
car at night knows how difficult it can be to see
unlit pedestrians and bicyclists. Bicyclists are
required to have a front light that can be seen for
at least 500 feet, a red rear and side facing
reflectors, R.S. 32:329. While using a light of
some kind is the best way to improve pedestrian
visibility, wearing clothing with retro-reflective
material will help as well. When was the last
time that you passed a pedestrian at night that
was only visible because of the retro-reflective
material incorporated into their shoes? Visibility
of pedestrians and bicyclists can be greatly
enhanced through the use of such retro-reflective
items as ankle bands, vests and tape added to
clothing, helmets and bicycles.

Note: Pedestrians and bicyclists are not required
by law to use retro-reflective clothing and/or
materials, and only bicyclists are required to use
lights and reflectors. Motorists must use extra
care at night to avoid striking pedestrians and
bicyclists using sidewalks and roadways.

There are many people who advocate the ―quick
fix‖ approach to bicycle safety. ―Just wear a
helmet,‖ they say. Granted, the single most
important thing that a person can do to increase
their chances of surviving a bicycle crash is to
wear a bicycle helmet every time that they ride.
But, helmets do not make bicycling safer; they
make crashes safer. To improve the safety of
bicyclists, to decrease the number of bicycle
crashes that occur, communities must create
traffic environments that are conducive to
bicycling. Bicycle helmets are really a last line
of defense. If all else fails though, you will be
glad you were wearing your helmet.
About 540,000 bicyclists visit emergency
rooms with injuries every year. Of those,
about 67,000 have head injuries, and 27,000
have injuries serious enough to be
hospitalized.
(3)

1 in 8 of the cyclists with reported injuries
has a brain injury.
(3)

Two-thirds of the deaths here are from
traumatic brain injury.
(3)

A very high percentage of cyclists' brain
injuries can be prevented by a helmet,
estimated at anywhere from 45 to 88 per
cent. Forty percent of bicyclists admitted to
hospitals and 70-80 percent of fatally injured
bicyclists have head injuries.
(3)


Helmet Types

Regardless of style, all helmets must now meet a
single Consumer Product Safety Commission
(CPSC) safety standard.
Hard shell: May have some advantages in
certain types of crashes, usually a little bit
heavier, more durable.
Micro shell: Lighter than most hard shell
helmets, good durability; by far the most
common type in use today.
No shell: Usually the lightest, may have
disadvantages in some types of crashes and
usually require a helmet cover. Few helmets
of this type are still being sold.

NOTE: Children under 12 months of age do
not have sufficient neck strength to
support a helmet and should be
protected in some other way. An
infant restraint seat strapped inside
a bicycle trail may work. Consult a
pediatrician for information specific
to your child.

Why don‘t people wear helmets?
Uncomfortable
Hot
Heavy
Too expensive
Nerdy image
Peer pressure
Lack of parental commitment or knowledge
Community leaders not setting helmet-
wearing example
Never thought about it; unaware of the need
Messes up the hair

Bicycle helmets cost $10 and up but, with
quantity purchase, prices may be reduced to less
than $10 per helmet. Discounted helmets may
be obtained through bicycle rodeos, safety days
and association with some service clubs and
organizations.

Proper fit is important to the function of a
helmet. Often, helmets are worn improperly,
thus, reducing their effectiveness. A properly fit
helmet should be snug and ride level with the
ground when looking straight ahead, not tipped
backwards. The chinstrap should be snug, not

35

tight. You should be able to slip one finger
between the chin and the strap. Where the front
and back straps join, they should form a ―V‖ just
below each ear. When properly fitted, you
should not be able to pull or twist the helmet off
when the chin strap is on correctly.

NOTE: Children under the age of twelve are
required to wear an approved helmet when
operating or riding as a passenger on a bicycle.
The helmet must fit well and be fastened
securely upon the head with the straps of the
helmet, R.S. 32:199.


1. Forester, John. Effective Cycling.
Cambridge: MIT Press, 1993.
2. The New Children in Traffic: Updated and
Revised. Fredericksburg, VA: AAA
Foundation for Traffic Safety, 1999.
3. Bicycle Helmet Statistics. Bicycle Helmet
Safety Institute. 10 September 2007.
<www.bhsi.org/stats.htm>.

36



Upon completing this section, students will be
able to:
1. State why it is important for law
enforcement officers to be familiar with
laws which relate to walking.
2. Display a working knowledge of laws
related to walking with special
emphasis on those laws whose
enforcement is most likely to prevent
deaths and injuries.


Traffic laws exist for the protection of people
and property and to ensure the smooth and
efficient flow of traffic. But, in order to achieve
this, people, especially law enforcement officers,
must be aware of, and abide by, these laws. Law
enforcement officers, logically, tend only to
enforce laws with which they are familiar and
that they can defend.

The following is a comprehensive list of state
pedestrian and vehicular laws related to walking.
Some of the laws are followed by a brief
discussion of issues associated with their
enforcement. Although there are many laws
which affect pedestrians, only a selected few can
have a significant impact on safety. There is a
list of these ―most important‖ laws at the end of
the chapter.

In your discussions of these laws remember that
laws are not static. They are ever changing to
keep pace with new information, technology,
politics, and other variables. Also remember that
experienced pedestrians may know the laws
relating to them better than you do. For a more
complete review of these laws, contact the
Louisiana Highway Safety Commission or visit
the Louisiana legislative website:
(http://www.legis.state.la.us/lss/tsrssearch.htm).


§ 32:1. Definitions
When used in this Chapter, the following words
and phrases have the meaning ascribed to them
in this Section, unless the context clearly
indicates a different meaning:

(13) "Crosswalk" means: (a) That part of a
roadway at an intersection included within the
connections of the lateral lines of the sidewalks
on opposite sides of the highway measured from
the curbs or, in absence of curbs, from the edges
of the traversable roadway.
(b) Any portion of a roadway at an intersection
or elsewhere distinctly indicated for pedestrian
crossing by lines or other markings on the
surface.

(16) "Driver" means every person who drives or
is in actual physical control of a vehicle.

(25) "Highway" means the entire width between
the boundary lines of every way or place of
whatever nature publicly maintained and open to
the use of the public for the purpose of vehicular
travel, including bridges, causeways, tunnels and
ferries; synonymous with the word "street."

(26) "Intersection" means: (a) The area
embraced within the prolongation or connection
of the lateral curb lines, or, if none, then the
lateral boundary lines of the roadways of two
highways which join one another at, or
approximately at, right angles, or the area within
which vehicles traveling upon different highways
joining at any other angle may come in conflict.
(c) The junction of an alley with a street or
highway shall not constitute an intersection.

(27) "Interstate highway" means a fully
controlled access highway which is a part of the
National System of Interstate and Defense
Highways.

(40) "Motor vehicle" means every vehicle
which is self-propelled, and every vehicle which
is propelled by electric power obtained from
overhead trolley wires, but not operated upon
rails, but excluding a motorized bicycle. "Motor
vehicle" shall also include a "low-speed vehicle"
which is a four-wheeled, electric-powered
vehicle with a maximum speed of not less than
twenty miles per hour but not more than twenty-
five miles per hour and is equipped with the
minimum motor vehicle equipment appropriate
for vehicle safety as required in 49 C.F.R.
571.500.


37

(44) "Operator" means every person, other than
a chauffeur, who drives or is in actual physical
control of a motor vehicle upon a highway or
who is exercising control over or steering a
vehicle being towed by a motor vehicle.

(57) "Right of way" means the privilege of the
immediate use of the highway.

(59) "Roadway" means that portion of a
highway improved, designed, or ordinarily used
for vehicular traffic, exclusive of the berm or
shoulder. A divided highway has two or more
roadways.

(65) "Shoulder" means the portion of the
highway contiguous with the roadway for
accommodation of stopped vehicles, for
emergency use, and for lateral support of base
and surface.

(66) "Sidewalk" means that portion of a
highway between the curb lines, or the lateral
lines of a highway, and the adjacent property
lines, intended for the use of pedestrians.

(74) "Stop" means, when required, the complete
cessation from movement.

(76) "Street" means the entire width between
the boundary lines of every way or place of
whatever nature publicly maintained and open to
the use of the public for the purpose of vehicular
travel, including bridges, causeways, tunnels,
and ferries; synonymous with the word
"highway."

(81) "Traffic" means pedestrians, ridden or
herded animals, vehicles, and other conveyances
either singly or together while using any
highway for purposes of travel.

(82) "Traffic control device" means all signs,
signals, markings, and devices, not inconsistent
with this Chapter, placed or erected by authority
of a public body or official having jurisdiction,
for the purpose of regulating, warning, or
guiding traffic.

(83) "Traffic control signal" means a type of
highway traffic signal, manually, electrically or
mechanically operated, by which traffic is
alternately directed to stop and permitted to
proceed.

(92) "Vehicle" means every device by which
persons or things may be transported upon a
public highway or bridge, except devices moved
by human power or used exclusively upon
stationary rails or tracks. A bicycle or a ridden
animal shall be a vehicle, and a trailer or
semitrailer shall be a separate vehicle.

Note: There is no state definition of a ―Person
with a disability,‖ however the federal
Americans with Disabilities Act states the
following:

ADA § 3.2.A or as 42 U.S.C. § 12202(2)(A)
Disability: a physical or mental impairment that
substantially limits one or more of the major life
activities of such individual;


§ 32:123. Stop signs and yield signs; penalties
for violations
B. Except when directed to proceed by a police
officer or traffic-control signal, every driver and
operator of a vehicle approaching a stop
intersection indicated by a stop sign shall stop
before entering the crosswalk on the near side at
a clearly marked stop line, but if none, then at
the point nearest the intersecting roadway where
the driver has a view of approaching traffic on
the intersecting roadway before entering the
intersection. After having stopped, the driver
shall yield the right of way to all vehicles which
have entered the intersection from another
highway or which are approaching so closely on
said highway as to constitute an immediate
hazard.

Note: Vehicle operators often stop within the
crosswalk making it difficult, and dangerous, for
pedestrians to cross within the crosswalk.

§ 32:124. Vehicle entering highway from
private road, driveway, alley or building
The driver of a vehicle about to enter or cross a
highway from a private road, driveway, alley or
building, shall stop such vehicle immediately
prior to driving onto a sidewalk or onto the
sidewalk area extending across any alleyway or
driveway, and shall yield the right of way to any
pedestrian as may be necessary to avoid
collision, and shall yield the right of way to all
approaching vehicles so close as to constitute an
immediate hazard.


38

Note: This violation is particularly important to
enforce where there are visual obstructions near
the sidewalk and/or the road (e.g., vegetation,
zero lot line setbacks.)

§ 32:143. Stopping, standing or parking
prohibited in specified places
A. No person shall stand, or park a vehicle,
except when necessary to avoid conflict with
other traffic, or in compliance with law or the
directions of a police officer or traffic control
device, in any of the following places:
(1) On a sidewalk;
(2) In front of a public or private driveway;
(3) Within an intersection;
(5) On a crosswalk;
(6) Within twenty feet of a crosswalk at an
intersection;
(8) Between a safety zone and the adjacent curb,
or within twenty feet of points on the curb
immediately opposite the ends of a safety zone;
(14) At any place where official signs prohibit
such;
(15) Any place where parking will obscure or
obstruct visibility of any traffic control device.

§ 32:212. Pedestrians right of way in
crosswalks
A. When traffic-control signals are not in place
or not in operation the driver of a vehicle shall
yield the right of way, slowing down or stopping
if need be to so yield, to a pedestrian crossing the
roadway within a crosswalk when the pedestrian
is upon the half of the roadway upon which the
vehicle is traveling or when the pedestrian is
approaching closely from the opposite half of the
roadway as to be in danger.
B. No pedestrian shall suddenly leave a curb or
other place of safety and walk or run into the
path of a vehicle which is so close that it is
impossible for the driver to yield.
C. Whenever any vehicle is stopped at a marked
crosswalk or at any unmarked crosswalk at an
intersection to permit a pedestrian to cross the
roadway, the driver of any other vehicle
approaching from the rear shall not overtake and
pass such stopped vehicle.
D. Sub-section A of this section shall not apply
where the pedestrian is crossing a roadway at a
point where a pedestrian tunnel or overhead
pedestrian crossing has been provided.

§ 32:214. Drivers to exercise due care
Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this
Part, every driver of a vehicle shall exercise due
care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian upon
any roadway and shall give warning by sounding
the horn when necessary and shall exercise
proper precaution upon observing any child or
any confused or incapacitated person upon a
highway.

§ 32:217. Blind and incapacitated pedestrians;
use of canes; persons in wheelchairs; vehicles
B. Whenever a pedestrian guided by a guide dog,
or carrying in a raised or extended position a
cane or walking stick which is metallic or white
in color, or white tipped with red, or a pedestrian
who requires a wheelchair or motorized
wheelchair for transportation is crossing or
attempting to cross a public street or highway, at
or near an intersection or crosswalk, the driver of
every vehicle approaching the intersection or
crosswalk shall take such precautions as may be
necessary to avoid injuring or endangering such
pedestrian, and if injury or danger to such
pedestrian can be avoided only by bringing his
vehicle to a full stop, he shall bring his vehicle to
a full stop.
C. Nothing contained in this Section shall be
construed to deprive any totally or partially blind
or otherwise incapacitated person, not carrying
such a cane or walking stick or not being guided
by a dog, of the rights and privileges conferred
by law upon pedestrians crossing streets or
highways, nor shall the failure of such totally or
partially blind or otherwise incapacitated person
to carry a cane or walking stick, or to be guided
by a guide dog upon the streets, highways or
sidewalks of this state, be held to constitute nor
be evidence of contributory negligence.

§ 32:219. Pedestrians right of way on
sidewalks
The driver of a motor vehicle emerging from or
entering an alley, private road or driveway, or
building shall yield the right of way to any
pedestrian approaching on any sidewalk
extending across such alley, road or driveway, or
building entrance.

§ 32:232. Traffic-control signals
Whenever traffic is controlled by traffic-control
signals exhibiting different colored lights, or
colored lighted arrows, successively one at a
time or in combination, only the colors green,
red and yellow shall be used, except for special
pedestrian signals carrying a word legend, and
said lights shall indicate and apply to drivers of
vehicles… as follows:



39

(1) GREEN indication:
(a) Vehicular traffic facing a circular green
signal may proceed straight through or turn right
or left unless a sign at such place prohibits either
such turn. But vehicular traffic, including
vehicles turning right or left, shall yield the
right of way to other vehicles and to
pedestrians lawfully within the intersection or
an adjacent crosswalk at the time such signal is
exhibited.

Note: Even with a green light, vehicle operators
are required to ―…yield the right of way …to
pedestrians lawfully within the intersection or an
adjacent crosswalk at the time such signal is
exhibited.‖

(b) Vehicular traffic facing a green arrow signal,
shown alone or in combination with another
indication, may cautiously enter the intersection
only to make the movement indicated by such
arrow, or such other movement as is permitted
by other indications shown at the same time.
Such vehicular traffic shall yield the right of
way to pedestrians lawfully within an
adjacent crosswalk and to other traffic lawfully
using the intersection.
(c) Unless otherwise directed by a pedestrian
control signal as provided in R.S. 32:233,
pedestrians facing any green signal, except when
the sole green signal is a turn arrow, may
proceed across the roadway within any marked
or unmarked crosswalk.
(3) Steady RED indication:
(a) Vehicular traffic facing a steady circular red
signal alone shall stop at a clearly marked stop
line, or if none, then before entering the
crosswalk on the near side of the intersection, or
if none, then before entering the intersection, and
shall remain standing until an indication to
proceed is shown except as provided in
Subparagraph (c) of this Paragraph.
(b) Vehicular traffic facing a steady red arrow
signal shall not enter the intersection to make the
movement indicated by the arrow and, unless
entering the intersection to make a movement
permitted by another signal, shall stop at a
clearly marked stop line, or if none, then before
entering the crosswalk on the near side of the
intersection, or if none, then before entering the
intersection, and shall remain standing until an
indication permitting the movement indicated by
such red arrow is shown except as provided in
Subparagraph (c) of this Paragraph.
(c) Except when a sign prohibits a turn, vehicular
traffic facing any steady red signal may
cautiously enter the intersection to turn right, or
to turn left from a one-way street into a one-way
street, after stopping as required by
Subparagraph (a) or Subparagraph (b) of this
Paragraph. Such vehicular traffic shall yield the
right of way to pedestrians lawfully within an
adjacent crosswalk and to other traffic lawfully
using the intersection.

Note: Vehicle operators often stop within the
crosswalk making it difficult, and dangerous, for
pedestrians to cross within the crosswalk.
Further, pedestrians are often struck at
intersections by motorists who fail to search the
intersection sufficiently for pedestrians before
turning right on red. In fact, some motorists are
so inattentive that they do not even come to a
complete stop before making this maneuver – an
even more dangerous situation.

(d) Unless otherwise directed by a pedestrian-
control signal as provided in R.S. 32:233, a
pedestrian facing a steady red or red arrow signal
shall not enter the roadway.
(4) In the event an official traffic-control signal
is erected and maintained at a place other than an
intersection, the provisions of this Section shall
be applicable except as to those provisions which
by their nature can have no application. Any stop
required shall be made at a sign or marking on
the pavement indicating where the stop shall be
made, but in the absence of any such sign or
marking, the stop shall be made at the signal.

§ 32:233. Pedestrian-control signals
Whenever special pedestrian-control signals
exhibiting the words "Walk" or "Don't Walk" are
in place, such signals shall indicate as follows:
(1) Flashing or Steady WALK--A pedestrian
facing the signal may proceed across the
roadway in the direction of the signal and shall
be given the right of way by a driver of a vehicle.
(2) Flashing or Steady DON‖T WALK – No
pedestrian shall start to cross the roadway in the
direction of the signal, but a pedestrian who has
partially completed the crossing on the ―walk‖
signal shall proceed to a sidewalk or safety
island while the ―Don‘t Walk‖ signal is showing.

§ 32:281. Limitations on backing
A. The driver of a vehicle shall not back the
same unless such movement can be made with
reasonable safety and without interfering with
other traffic.



40

§ 32:58. Careless operation
Any person operating a motor vehicle on the
public roads of this state shall drive in a careful
and prudent manner, so as not to endanger the
life, limb, or property of any person. Failure to
drive in such a manner shall constitute careless
operation.

§ 32:64. General speed law
A. No person shall drive a vehicle on the
highway within this state at a speed greater than
is reasonable and prudent under the conditions
and potential hazards then existing, having due
regard for the traffic on, and the surface and
width of, the highway, and the condition of the
weather, and in no event at a speed in excess of
the maximum speeds established by this Chapter
or regulation of the department made pursuant
thereto.
§ 32:80. Overtaking and passing school buses
A. (1) The driver of a vehicle upon a highway
meeting or overtaking from any direction any
school bus that has stopped for the purpose of
receiving or discharging any school children
shall stop the vehicle not less than thirty feet
from the school bus before reaching such school
bus when there are in operation on said school
bus visual signals as required by R.S. 32:318,
and said driver shall not proceed until such bus
resumes motion or the visual signals are no
longer activated.
(2) The driver of any school bus is authorized to
notify the appropriate law enforcement authority
of any violation of this Subsection within
twenty-four hours of the violation. The school
bus driver by affidavit shall provide the authority
with the color and license number of the vehicle
involved in a violation.
(3) The appropriate authority may issue a citation
to the owner or, in the case of a leased vehicle,
the lessee of the vehicle involved, on the basis of
this information. The owner or lessee shall not
be cited if the vehicle is stolen, or if another
driver is cited for the violation.
(4) Any person convicted of violating this
Subsection shall be fined not less than one
hundred dollars nor more than five hundred
dollars or imprisoned for not more than six
months, or both, in accordance with the
provisions of R.S. 32:398.2, and shall have his
driver's license suspended in accordance with the
provisions of R.S. 32:414(A)(2).

Note: A citation may be issued for this violation
even if the driver of the vehicle cannot be
identified. School bus drivers may report
violating vehicles for prosecution.

§ 32:300. Possession of alcoholic beverages in
motor vehicles
A. It shall be unlawful for the operator of a
motor vehicle or the passenger in or on a motor
vehicle, while the motor vehicle is operated on a
public highway or right of way, to possess an
open alcoholic beverage container, or to
consume an alcoholic beverage, in the passenger
area of a vehicle.

§ 14:98. Operating a vehicle while intoxicated
A. (1) The crime of operating a vehicle while
intoxicated is the operating of any motor vehicle,
aircraft, watercraft, vessel or other means of
conveyance when:
(a) The operator is under the influence of
alcoholic beverages; or
(b) The operator‘s blood alcohol concentration is
0.08 percent or more by weight based on grams
of alcohol per one hundred cubic centimeters of
blood; or
(c) The operator is under the influence of any
controlled dangerous substance listed in
Schedule I, II, III, IV, or V as set forth in R.S.
40:964; or
(d) (i) The operator is under the influence of a
combination of alcohol and one or more drugs
which are not controlled dangerous substances
and which are legally obtainable with or without
a prescription.
(e) (i) The operator is under the influence of a
one or more drugs which are not controlled
dangerous substances and which are legally
obtainable with or without a prescription.


§ 32:206. Electric mobility aids
A. A person with a mobility impairment
operating an electric mobility aid shall have the
same rights as an able-bodied pedestrian to use
streets, sidewalks, and walkways. In addition, an
electric mobility aid may be operated on the
following roadways during daylight hours only:
(1) A road or street where the posted speed limit
is twenty-five miles per hour or less or where
suitable sidewalks or bicycle paths are not
available.
(2) A marked bicycle path or designated bicycle
lane.
(3) Within any residential subdivision.

41

(4) Any street or roadway when necessary to
cross or as a reasonable accommodation under
the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C.
12131, et seq., because of physical barriers, such
as a lack of curb cuts or sidewalks, to other
means of access by persons using mobility aids.
B. An electric mobility aid shall not be
considered a vehicle for purposes of defining
"equipment" as referenced in Part V of Chapter 1
of this Title.
C. A valid driver's license shall not be
prerequisite to operating an electric mobility aid.
D. Electric mobility aids shall not be required to
register and be insured in accordance with R.S.
32:51.
E. As used in this Section, an "electric mobility
aid" shall mean a mobility aid, usable indoors
and designed for and used by individuals and
which is prescribed by a physician for a medical
condition that affects the user's ability to
ambulate independently. To qualify as an electric
mobility aid, a mobility aid must not be capable
of exceeding a speed of twenty miles per hour on
a paved surface when operating under its own
power.
F. A parish, municipality or the Department of
Transportation and Development may prohibit or
regulate the operation of an electric mobility aid
on any road, sidewalk, street, or bicycle path
under its jurisdiction if the governing body of the
parish, municipality, or the Department of
Transportation and Development determines that
such a prohibition or regulation is necessary and
in the interest of safety.

§ 32:212. Pedestrians right of way in
crosswalks
A. When traffic-control signals are not in place
or not in operation the driver of a vehicle shall
yield the right of way, slowing down or stopping
if need be to so yield, to a pedestrian crossing the
roadway within a crosswalk when the pedestrian
is upon the half of the roadway upon which the
vehicle is traveling or when the pedestrian is
approaching closely from the opposite half of the
roadway as to be in danger.
B. No pedestrian shall suddenly leave a curb or
other place of safety and walk or run into the
path of a vehicle which is so close that it is
impossible for the driver to yield.
C. Whenever any vehicle is stopped at a marked
crosswalk or at any unmarked crosswalk at an
intersection to permit a pedestrian to cross the
roadway, the driver of any other vehicle
approaching from the rear shall not overtake and
pass such stopped vehicle.
D. Sub-section A of this section shall not apply
where the pedestrian is crossing a roadway at a
point where a pedestrian tunnel or overhead
pedestrian crossing has been provided.

§ 32:213. Crossing at other than crosswalks
A. Every pedestrian crossing a roadway at any
point other than within a marked crosswalk or
within an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection
shall yield the right of way to all vehicles upon
the roadway.
B. Between adjacent intersections at which
traffic-control signals are in operation
pedestrians shall not cross at any place except in
a marked crosswalk.

Note: This violation is sometimes incorrectly
called ―jay walking.‖ Crossing the road mid-
block is not in and of itself unlawful or
necessarily dangerous (notwithstanding
subsection B). What is illegal, and very
dangerous, is entering the road at an unexpected
location, mid-block, and interfering with
vehicular traffic. Although vehicle operators
have a near absolute responsibility not to strike a
pedestrian, no matter where they are, the primary
responsibility for avoiding conflicts mid-block
falls on the pedestrian. At crosswalks, however,
the primary responsibility for avoiding collisions
falls on the vehicle operator.

§ 32:215. Pedestrians to use right half of
crosswalks
Pedestrians shall move, whenever practicable,
upon the right half of crosswalks.

§ 32:216. Pedestrians on highways or
interstate highways
A. Where sidewalks are provided, it shall be
unlawful for any pedestrian to walk along and
upon an adjacent highway.
B. Where sidewalks are not provided, any
pedestrian walking along and upon a highway
shall, when practicable, walk only on the left
side of the highway or its shoulder, facing traffic
which may approach from the opposite direction.
C. It shall be unlawful for any pedestrian to cross
an interstate highway, except in the case of an
emergency.

Note: Pedestrians are only required to walk on
the left side of the highway or its shoulder,
facing traffic, when it is practicable (safe).



42

§ 32:217. Blind and incapacitated pedestrians;
use of canes; persons in wheelchairs; vehicles
A. It is unlawful for any person, unless totally or
partially blind or otherwise incapacitated, while
on any public street or highway, to carry in a
raised or extended position a cane or walking
stick which is metallic or white in color or white
tipped with red.
C. Nothing contained in this Section shall be
construed to deprive any totally or partially blind
or otherwise incapacitated person, not carrying
such a cane or walking stick or not being guided
by a dog, of the rights and privileges conferred
by law upon pedestrians crossing streets or
highways, nor shall the failure of such totally or
partially blind or otherwise incapacitated person
to carry a cane or walking stick, or to be guided
by a guide dog upon the streets, highways or
sidewalks of this state, be held to constitute nor
be evidence of contributory negligence.

§ 32:232. Traffic-control signals
Whenever traffic is controlled by traffic-control
signals exhibiting different colored lights, or
colored lighted arrows, successively one at a
time or in combination, only the colors green,
red and yellow shall be used, except for special
pedestrian signals carrying a word legend, and
said lights shall indicate and apply to drivers of
vehicles and pedestrians as follows:
(1) GREEN indication:
(c) Unless otherwise directed by a pedestrian
control signal as provided in R.S. 32:233,
pedestrians facing any green signal, except when
the sole green signal is a turn arrow, may
proceed across the roadway within any marked
or unmarked crosswalk.
(2) Steady YELLOW indication:
(b) Unless otherwise directed by a pedestrian
control signal as provided in R.S. 32:233 a
pedestrian facing a steady yellow signal is
thereby advised that there is insufficient time to
cross the roadway before a red signal is exhibited
and no pedestrian shall then start to cross the
roadway.
(3) Steady RED indication:
(d) Unless otherwise directed by a pedestrian-
control signal as provided in R.S. 32:233, a
pedestrian facing a steady circular red or red
arrow signal shall not enter the roadway.

(4) In the event an official traffic-control signal
is erected and maintained at a place other than an
intersection, the provisions of this Section shall
be applicable except as to those provisions which
by their nature can have no application.

§ 32:233. Pedestrian-control signals
Whenever special pedestrian-control signals
exhibiting the words "Walk" or "Don't Walk" are
in place, such signals shall indicate as follows:
(1) Flashing or Steady WALK--A pedestrian
facing the signal may proceed across the
roadway in the direction of the signal and shall
be given the right of way by a driver of a vehicle.
(2) Flashing or Steady DON'T WALK--No
pedestrian shall start to cross the roadway in the
direction of the signal, but a pedestrian who has
partially completed his crossing on the "Walk"
signal shall proceed to a sidewalk or safety
island while the "Don't Walk" signal is showing.

Note: Some pedestrians do not understand the
intended, and legal, meaning of ―WALK‖ and
―DON‘T WALK‖ signals. This often causes
confusion and dangerous interactions between
pedestrians and motorists. Pedestrians may only
enter a crosswalk when the ―WALK‖ signal is
showing. Once the pedestrian has started to
cross during the ―WALK‖ phase they may
continue to cross even if the signal changes to
―DON‘T WALK‖. Entering the crosswalk
during the ―DON‘T WALK‖ phase is dangerous
because signal timing may prevent safe crossing
(e.g., there is not enough time to cross before the
light changes or turning movements across the
crosswalk are allowed during this phase).

§ 14:1033. Disturbing the Peace
A. Disturbing the peace is the doing of any of the
following in such a manner as would foreseeably
disturb or alarm the public
(3) Appearing in an intoxicated condition




















43

Based on crash data, the laws, which will have
the greatest affect on pedestrian safety include:

Stop at stop sign R.S. 32:123
Traffic-control signal R.S. 32:232
Pedestrians right-of-way
on sidewalks R.S. 32:219
Pedestrians right of way in
cross-walks R.S. 32:212
Vehicle entering highway
from private road,
driveway, alley or
building R.S. 32:124
Speed R.S. 32:64
Drivers to exercise due
care R.S. 32:214
Possession of alcoholic
beverages R.S. 32:300
OWI R.S. 14:98

Pedestrians on highways
or interstate highways R.S. 32:216(B)
Sudden entry into
roadway R.S. 32:212(B)
Traffic-control signal R.S. 32:232
Pedestrian-control signals R.S. 32:233
Crossing at other than
cross walks R.S. 32:213
Disturbing the peace R.S.14:103

Pedestrians Under the Influence
Currently it is not illegal to walk while under the
influence of intoxicants or other drugs.
R.S. 32:300 and R.S. 32:661 apply to motor
vehicle operators only. Nonetheless, walking
while under the influence is very dangerous for
walkers and those around them. Officers should
look for opportunities to remove intoxicated
pedestrians from the road to a safer location.


1. Hunter, et al. Pedestrian and Bicycle
Crash Types of the Early 1990’s.
USDOT, FHWA publication No.
FHWA-RD-95-163. 1996.

2. Louisiana Criminal Law and Motor
Vehicle Handbook, 2006-2007 Edition.
LexisNexis. 2006.

44



Upon completing this section, students will be
able to:
1. State why it is important for law
enforcement officers to be familiar with
laws which relate to bicycling.
2. Display a working knowledge of laws
related to bicycling with special emphasis on
laws whose enforcement is most likely to
prevent deaths and injuries.


Traffic laws exist for the protection of people
and property and to ensure the smooth and
efficient flow of traffic. But, in order to achieve
this, people, especially law enforcement officers,
must be aware of, and abide by, these laws. Law
enforcement officers, logically, tend only to
enforce laws with which they are familiar and
that they can defend. Remember, per R.S.
32:194, ―Every person riding a bicycle upon a
highway of this state shall be granted all of the
rights and shall be subject to all the duties
applicable to the driver of a vehicle by this
Chapter, except as to special regulations in this
Part and except as to those provisions of this
Chapter which by their very nature can have no
application.‖ The following is a comprehensive
list of state laws related to bicycling. Some of
the laws are followed by a brief discussion of
issues associated with their enforcement.
Although there are many laws which affect
bicyclists, only a select few have a significant
impact on safety. There is a list of these ―most
important‖ laws at the end of the chapter.

In your discussions of these laws remember that
laws are not static. They are ever changing to
keep pace with new information, technology,
politics, and other variables. Also remember that
experienced bicyclists may know the laws
relating to them better than you do. For a more
complete review of these laws, contact the
Louisiana Highway Safety Commission or visit
the Louisiana legislative website,
http://www.legis.state.la.us/.

§ 32:1. Definitions
When used in this Chapter, the following words
and phrases have the meaning ascribed to them
in this Section, unless the context clearly
indicates a different meaning:

(4) "Bicycle" means every device propelled by
human power upon which any person may ride
and designed to travel on two tandem wheels.

(13) "Crosswalk" means: (a) That part of a
roadway at an intersection included within the
connections of the lateral lines of the sidewalks
on opposite sides of the highway measured from
the curbs or, in absence of curbs, from the edges
of the traversable roadway.
(b) Any portion of a roadway at an intersection
or elsewhere distinctly indicated for pedestrian
crossing by lines or other markings on the
surface.

Note: Bicyclists on the street must yield the
right of way to pedestrians in crosswalks.
Bicyclists who dismount from their bike and
walk in a crosswalk are considered to be
pedestrians.

(16) "Driver" means every person who drives or
is in actual physical control of a vehicle.

(25) "Highway" means the entire width between
the boundary lines of every way or place of
whatever nature publicly maintained and open to
the use of the public for the purpose of vehicular
travel, including bridges, causeways, tunnels and
ferries; synonymous with the word "street."

(26) "Intersection" means: (a) The area
embraced within the prolongation or connection
of the lateral curb lines, or, if none, then the
lateral boundary lines of the roadways of two
highways which join one another at, or
approximately at, right angles, or the area within
which vehicles traveling upon different highways
joining at any other angle may come in conflict.
(c) The junction of an alley with a street or
highway shall not constitute an intersection.

(27) "Interstate highway" means a fully
controlled access highway which is a part of the
National System of Interstate and Defense
Highways.


45

(28) "Laned roadway or highway" means a
roadway or highway which is divided into two or
more clearly marked lanes for vehicular traffic.

(40) "Motor vehicle" means every vehicle
which is self-propelled, and every vehicle which
is propelled by electric power obtained from
overhead trolley wires, but not operated upon
rails, but excluding a motorized bicycle. "Motor
vehicle" shall also include a "low-speed vehicle"
which is a four-wheeled, electric-powered
vehicle with a maximum speed of not less than
twenty miles per hour but not more than twenty-
five miles per hour and is equipped with the
minimum motor vehicle equipment appropriate
for vehicle safety as required in 49 C.F.R.
571.500.

(42) "Multiple-lane highway" means any
highway with two or more clearly marked lanes
for traffic in each direction.

(44) "Operator" means every person, other than
a chauffeur, who drives or is in actual physical
control of a motor vehicle upon a highway or
who is exercising control over or steering a
vehicle being towed by a motor vehicle.

(57) "Right of way" means the privilege of the
immediate use of the highway.

(59) "Roadway" means that portion of a
highway improved, designed, or ordinarily used
for vehicular traffic, exclusive of the berm or
shoulder. A divided highway has two or more
roadways.

(60) "Rotary traffic island" means any circular
area of ground, surrounded by a highway or
roadway which is designed to prevent the
crossing of traffic on four or more otherwise
intersecting highways, in order to require all
traffic approaching it to proceed for some
distance around a portion of the island before
entering one of the intersecting highways and to
prevent left hand turns onto such otherwise
intersecting highways.

(65) "Shoulder" means the portion of the
highway contiguous with the roadway for
accommodation of stopped vehicles, for
emergency use, and for lateral support of base
and surface.

Note: This is an area of legal ambiguity as the
definition of shoulder would seem to exclude
their use for bicyclists. However, in practice the
shoulders of some roadways have been
specifically designed for use by bicyclists, both
allowing and encouraging people to operate
bicycles in this area.

(66) "Sidewalk" means that portion of a
highway between the curb lines, or the lateral
lines of a highway, and the adjacent property
lines, intended for the use of pedestrians.

Note: No state statutes address bicyclists riding
on sidewalks. However, some parishes and
municipalities have local statutes prohibiting this
behavior. When not prohibited, bicyclists riding
on the sidewalk have the same rights and
responsibilities as pedestrians, but must use
greater care.

(74) "Stop" means, when required, the complete
cessation from movement.

(76) "Street" means the entire width between
the boundary lines of every way or place of
whatever nature publicly maintained and open to
the use of the public for the purpose of vehicular
travel, including bridges, causeways, tunnels,
and ferries; synonymous with the word
"highway."

(80) "Through highway" means every highway
or portion thereof on which vehicular traffic is
given preferential right of way, and at the
entrances to which vehicular traffic from
intersecting highways is required by law to yield
the right of way to vehicles on such through
highway in obedience to either a stop sign or a
yield sign, when such signs are erected as
provided in this Chapter.

(81) "Traffic" means pedestrians, ridden or
herded animals, vehicles, and other conveyances
either singly or together while using any
highway for purposes of travel.

(82) "Traffic control device" means all signs,
signals, markings, and devices, not inconsistent
with this Chapter, placed or erected by authority
of a public body or official having jurisdiction,
for the purpose of regulating, warning, or
guiding traffic.

(83) "Traffic control signal" means a type of
highway traffic signal, manually, electrically or
mechanically operated, by which traffic is

46

alternately directed to stop and permitted to
proceed.

(92) "Vehicle" means every device by which
persons or things may be transported upon a
public highway or bridge, except devices moved
by human power or used exclusively upon
stationary rails or tracks. A bicycle or a ridden
animal shall be a vehicle, and a trailer or
semitrailer shall be a separate vehicle.

Note: There is no state definition of a ―Person
with a disability,‖ however the federal
Americans with Disabilities Act states the
following:

ADA § 3.2.A or as 42 U.S.C. § 12202(2)(A)
Disability: a physical or mental impairment that
substantially limits one or more of the major life
activities of such individual;


In all 50 states, bicycles are considered vehicles
or are given the same rights and
responsibilities as vehicles (see R.S. 32:194
below).

§ 32:101. Required position and method of
turning at intersections
A. The driver of a vehicle intending to turn at an
intersection shall proceed as follows:
(1) Right turns. Both the approach for a right
turn and a right turn shall be made as close as
practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the
roadway.
(2) Left turns on two-way roadways. At any
intersection where traffic is permitted to move in
both directions on each roadway entering the
intersection, an approach for a left turn shall be
made in that portion of the right half of the
roadway nearest the center line thereof and by
passing to the right of such center line where it
enters the intersection and after entering the
intersection the left turn shall be made so as to
leave the intersection to the right of the center
line of the roadway being entered. Whenever
practicable the left turn shall be made in that
portion of the intersection to the left of the center
of the intersection.
(3) Left turns on other than two-way roadways.
At any intersection where traffic is restricted to
one direction on one or more of the roadways,
the driver of a vehicle intending to turn left at
any such intersection shall approach the
intersection in the extreme left-hand lane
lawfully available to traffic moving in the
direction of travel of such vehicle and after
entering the intersection the left turn shall be
made so as to leave the intersection in the safest
lane lawfully available to traffic moving in such
direction upon the roadway being entered.
C. No person shall drive any vehicle through or
over private property, including, but not limited
to, any corner parking or driveway facility, from
a highway solely for the purposes of entering
another highway.

Note: This statute applies to a motorist who
turns right in front of a bicyclist stopped at an
intersection in the curb lane. Vehicle operators
are required to make a right turn from as close as
practicable to the right-hand edge or curb of the
roadway. Bicyclists can discourage this
dangerous motorist activity by positioning
themselves further into the middle of the lane,
thus making it harder for the motorist to turn
around them. Such positioning should be
encouraged by law enforcement.

§ 32:122. Vehicle turning left at intersection
The driver of a vehicle within an intersection
intending to turn to the left shall yield the right
of way to all vehicles approaching from the
opposite direction which are within the
intersection or so close thereto as to constitute an
immediate hazard.

Note: Left turning motorists are typically one of
the leading causes of crashes for adult bicyclists.

§ 32:123. Stop signs and yield signs; penalties
for violations
B. Except when directed to proceed by a police
officer or traffic-control signal, every driver and
operator of a vehicle approaching a stop
intersection indicated by a stop sign shall stop
before entering the crosswalk on the near side at
a clearly marked stop line, but if none, then at
the point nearest the intersecting roadway where
the driver has a view of approaching traffic on
the intersecting roadway before entering the
intersection. After having stopped, the driver
shall yield the right of way to all vehicles which
have entered the intersection from another
highway or which are approaching so closely on
said highway as to constitute an immediate
hazard.



47

§ 32:124. Vehicle entering highway from
private road, driveway, alley or building
The driver of a vehicle about to enter or cross a
highway from a private road, driveway, alley or
building, shall stop such vehicle immediately
prior to driving onto a sidewalk or onto the
sidewalk area extending across any alleyway or
driveway, and shall yield the right of way to any
pedestrian as may be necessary to avoid
collision, and shall yield the right of way to all
approaching vehicles so close as to constitute an
immediate hazard.

Note: Vehicles must stop twice before entering
the roadway—once before crossing the
sidewalk, where many children and
inexperienced bicyclists ride, and again before
entering the roadway. Bicyclists riding against
traffic are particularly exposed to these types of
crashes. Motorists do not typically scan in their
direction.

§ 32:212. Pedestrians right of way in
crosswalks
A. When traffic-control signals are not in place
or not in operation the driver of a vehicle shall
yield the right of way, slowing down or stopping
if need be to so yield, to a pedestrian crossing the
roadway within a crosswalk when the pedestrian
is upon the half of the roadway upon which the
vehicle is traveling or when the pedestrian is
approaching closely from the opposite half of the
roadway as to be in danger.
B. No pedestrian shall suddenly leave a curb or
other place of safety and walk or run into the
path of a vehicle which is so close that it is
impossible for the driver to yield.
C. Whenever any vehicle is stopped at a marked
crosswalk or at any unmarked crosswalk at an
intersection to permit a pedestrian to cross the
roadway, the driver of any other vehicle
approaching from the rear shall not overtake and
pass such stopped vehicle.
D. Sub-section A of this section shall not apply
where the pedestrian is crossing a roadway at a
point where a pedestrian tunnel or overhead
pedestrian crossing has been provided.

Note: Bicyclists on the street must yield the
right of way to pedestrians in crosswalks.
Bicyclists who dismount from their bike and
walk in a crosswalk are considered to be
pedestrians.

§ 32:232. Traffic-control signals
Whenever traffic is controlled by traffic-control
signals exhibiting different colored lights, or
colored lighted arrows, successively one at a
time or in combination, only the colors green,
red and yellow shall be used, except for special
pedestrian signals carrying a word legend, and
said lights shall indicate and apply to drivers of
vehicles… as follows:
(1) GREEN indication:
(a) Vehicular traffic facing a circular green
signal may proceed straight through or turn right
or left unless a sign at such place prohibits either
such turn. But vehicular traffic, including
vehicles turning right or left, shall yield the right
of way to other vehicles and to pedestrians
lawfully within the intersection or an adjacent
crosswalk at the time such signal is exhibited.
(b) Vehicular traffic facing a green arrow signal,
shown alone or in combination with another
indication, may cautiously enter the intersection
only to make the movement indicated by such
arrow, or such other movement as is permitted
by other indications shown at the same time.
Such vehicular traffic shall yield the right of way
to pedestrians lawfully within an adjacent
crosswalk and to other traffic lawfully using the
intersection.
(3) Steady RED indication:
(a) Vehicular traffic facing a steady circular red
signal alone shall stop at a clearly marked stop
line, or if none, then before entering the
crosswalk on the near side of the intersection, or
if none, then before entering the intersection, and
shall remain standing until an indication to
proceed is shown except as provided in
Subparagraph (c) of this Paragraph.
(b) Vehicular traffic facing a steady red arrow
signal shall not enter the intersection to make the
movement indicated by the arrow and, unless
entering the intersection to make a movement
permitted by another signal, shall stop at a
clearly marked stop line, or if none, then before
entering the crosswalk on the near side of the
intersection, or if none, then before entering the
intersection, and shall remain standing until an
indication permitting the movement indicated by
such red arrow is shown except as provided in
Subparagraph (c) of this Paragraph.
(c) Except when a sign prohibits a turn, vehicular
traffic facing any steady red signal may
cautiously enter the intersection to turn right, or
to turn left from a one-way street into a one-way
street, after stopping as required by
Subparagraph (a) or Subparagraph (b) of this
Paragraph. Such vehicular traffic shall yield the
right of way to pedestrians lawfully within an

48

adjacent crosswalk and to other traffic lawfully
using the intersection.
(4) In the event an official traffic-control signal
is erected and maintained at a place other than an
intersection, the provisions of this Section shall
be applicable except as to those provisions which
by their nature can have no application. Any stop
required shall be made at a sign or marking on
the pavement indicating where the stop shall be
made, but in the absence of any such sign or
marking, the stop shall be made at the signal.

§ 32:398. Accident reports; when and to
whom made; information aid; fees for copies;
fees for accident photographs
A. The driver of a vehicle involved in an
accident resulting in injury to or death of any
person or property damage in excess of five
hundred dollars shall:
(1) Immediately, by the quickest means of
communication, give notice of the accident to the
local police department if the accident occurs
within an incorporated city or town or, if the
accident occurs outside of an incorporated city or
town, to the nearest sheriff's office or state police
station.
(2) Give his name, address, and the registration
number of the vehicle he was driving and, upon
request and if available, exhibit his license or
permit to drive to any person injured in such
accident or to the driver or occupant of or person
attending any vehicle or other property damaged
in the accident.
(3) Give such information and, upon request,
exhibit such license or permit to any police
officer at the scene of the accident or who is
investigating the accident.
B. The driver of any vehicle involved in an
accident resulting in injury to or death of any
person or total property damage to an apparent
extent of one hundred dollars or more shall,
within twenty-four hours after the accident,
forward a written report of the accident to the
Department of Public Safety and Corrections.
Any person who violates the provisions of this
Subsection may be imprisoned for not more than
sixty days or fined not more than one hundred
dollars, or both.
D. It shall be the duty of the state police or the
sheriff's office to investigate all accidents
required to be reported by this Section when the
accident occurs outside the corporate limits of a
city or town, and it shall be the duty of the police
department of each city or town to investigate all
accidents required to be reported by this Section
when the accidents occur within the corporate
limits of the city or town. Every law enforcement
officer who investigates an accident, as required
by this Subsection, shall instruct the driver of
each vehicle involved in the accident to report
the following to all parties suffering injury or
property damage as an apparent result of the
accident:
(1) The name and address of the owner and the
driver of the vehicle.
(2) The license number of the vehicle.
(3) The name of the liability carrier for the
vehicle, the name, address, and telephone
number of the insurance agent who procured the
liability policy providing coverage for the
vehicle.
F. The state police, any local police department,
or any sheriff's office shall provide copies of
crash reports to any interested person upon
request and may charge a fee, not to exceed the
sum of five dollars per report that does not
exceed two pages, and seven dollars and fifty
cents per report that exceeds two pages.
G. The state police, any local police department,
or any sheriff's office shall provide copies of
photographs of accidents or other photographs
required of the investigating agency, video tapes,
audio tapes, and any extraordinary-sized
documents, or documents stored on electronic
media, to any interested person upon request and
may charge a reasonable fee for such copies.

Note: Bicyclists are subject to the same
―accident‖ reporting requirements as the
operators of other ―vehicles.‖

§ 32:281. Limitations on backing
A. The driver of a vehicle shall not back the
same unless such movement can be made with
reasonable safety and without interfering with
other traffic.

§ 32:58. Careless operation
Any person operating a motor vehicle on the
public roads of this state shall drive in a careful
and prudent manner, so as not to endanger the
life, limb, or property of any person. Failure to
drive in such a manner shall constitute careless
operation.

§ 32:64. General speed law
A. No person shall drive a vehicle on the
highway within this state at a speed greater than
is reasonable and prudent under the conditions
and potential hazards then existing, having due
regard for the traffic on, and the surface and
width of, the highway, and the condition of the

49

weather, and in no event at a speed in excess of
the maximum speeds established by this Chapter
or regulation of the department made pursuant
thereto.
§ 32:73. Passing a vehicle on the left
The following rules shall govern the overtaking
and passing of vehicles proceeding in the same
direction, subject to those limitations,
exceptions, and special rules hereinafter stated:
(1) Except when overtaking and passing on the
right is permitted, the driver of a vehicle
overtaking another vehicle proceeding in the
same direction shall pass to the left thereof at a
safe distance, and shall not again drive to the
right side of the roadway until safely clear of the
overtaken vehicle.
(2) Except when overtaking and passing on the
right is permitted, the driver of an overtaken
vehicle shall give way to the right in favor of the
overtaking vehicle on audible signal, and shall
not increase the speed of his vehicle until
completely passed by the overtaking vehicle.

Note: This statute is very important when
discussing the ability of a bicyclist to operate in
the traffic environment. Generally bicycles and
motor vehicles are not given separate traffic
lanes; they are required to share. In these
situations, lane width is key to the ability of
these two vehicles to operate (pass) within the
same lane. There are traffic lanes which are too
narrow to be shared (see the discussion of
narrow lanes in the Engineering section.) This
statute also applies to situations where a motorist
passes a bicyclist and then reenters the lane
without leaving enough room for the bicyclist.
This is a common occurrence at intersections
where the motorist tries to beat the bicyclist to
the corner to make a right-hand turn. The car
effectively ―cuts off‖ the bicycle and not
therefore does not provide the require safe
distance.

§ 32:76.1. Limitations on passing bicycles
A. This Section shall be known as the Colin
Goodier Protection Act
B. The operator of a motor vehicle, when
overtaking and passing a bicycle proceeding in
the same direction on the roadway shall leave a
safe distance between the motor vehicle and the
bicycle of not less than three feet and shall
maintain such clearance until safely past the
overtaken bicycle.
F. Any person who violates this Section shall be
fined not more than two hundred and fifty
dollars.

§ 32:77. No passing zones
A. The Department is hereby authorized to
determine those portions of any highway where
overtaking and passing or driving to the left of
the roadway would be especially hazardous, and
shall by appropriate signs or markings on the
roadway indicate the beginning and end of such
zones, and when such signs and markings are in
place and are clearly visible to an ordinary
observant person, every driver shall obey the
directions thereof.
B. Where signs or markings are in place to
define a no-passing zone as set forth in
paragraph A, no driver shall at any time drive on
the left side of the roadway within such zone, or
on the left side of any pavement striping,
designated to mark such no-passing zone,
throughout its length.

§ 32:201. Harassment of bicyclist prohibited;
penalties
A. It shall be unlawful to harass, taunt or
maliciously throw objects at or in the direction of
any person riding a bicycle.
B. Any person who violates this Section shall be
fined not less than two hundred dollars or
imprisoned for not more than thirty days.

§ 32:300. Possession of alcoholic beverages in
motor vehicles
A. It shall be unlawful for the operator of a
motor vehicle or the passenger in or on a motor
vehicle, while the motor vehicle is operated on a
public highway or right of way, to possess an
open alcoholic beverage container, or to
consume an alcoholic beverage, in the passenger
area of a vehicle.

§ 14:98. Operating a vehicle while intoxicated
A. (1) The crime of operating a vehicle while
intoxicated is the operating of any motor vehicle,
aircraft, watercraft, vessel or other means of
conveyance when:
(a) The operator is under the influence of
alcoholic beverages; or
(b) The operator‘s blood alcohol concentration is
0.08 percent or more by weight based on grams
of alcohol per one hundred cubic centimeters of
blood; or
(c) The operator is under the influence of any
controlled dangerous substance listed in
Schedule I, II, III, IV, or V as set forth in R.S.
40:964; or
(d) (i) The operator is under the influence of a
combination of alcohol and one or more drugs

50

which are not controlled dangerous substances
and which are legally obtainable with or without
a prescription.
(e) (i) The operator is under the influence of a
one or more drugs which are not controlled
dangerous substances and which are legally
obtainable with or without a prescription.

(See note on page 52 regarding applicability of
R.S. 14:98 to bicycles)


§ 32:106. Methods of giving hand and arm
signals
All signals herein required to be given by hand
and arm shall be given from the left side of the
vehicle in the following manner, and such
signals shall indicate as follows:
(1) Left turn--hand and arm extended
horizontally, with the hand open and the back of
the hand to the rear.
(2) Right turn--hand and arm extended upward at
an angle of forty-five degrees from shoulder or
elbow, with the hand open and the back of the
hand to the rear.
(3) Stop or decrease speed--start--hand and arm
extended downward at an angle of forty-five
degrees from shoulder or elbow, with the hand
open and the back of the hand to the rear.
(4) Pulling from curb or side of highway--same
as for left turn.

Note: Some states now allow a right-hand turn
to be indicated by a bicyclist extending the right
arm and hand horizontally to the right. This may
be easier to teach children and easier for
following motorists to understand. This is not
currently a legal signal in Louisiana.

§ 32:193. Operation of bicycles; general
provision
The regulations applicable to bicycles shall apply
whenever a bicycle is operated upon any
highway or upon any path set aside for the
exclusive use of bicycles, subject to those
exceptions stated hereafter.

§ 32:194. Traffic laws apply to persons riding
bicycles
Every person riding a bicycle upon a highway of
this state shall be granted all of the rights and
shall be subject to all the duties applicable to the
driver of a vehicle by this Chapter, except as to
special regulations in this Part and except as to
those provisions of this Chapter which by their
very nature can have no application.

§ 32:195. Riding on bicycles
A. A person propelling a bicycle shall not ride
other than upon or astride a permanent or regular
seat attached thereto.
B. No bicycle shall be used to carry more
persons at one time than the number for which it
is designed and equipped.

Note: Prohibits passengers from riding on
handlebars, foot pegs, or cross bar.

C. A person operating a bicycle shall at all times
keep at least one hand upon the handle bars
thereof.

Note: It would be substantially safer if the
bicyclist were required to keep both hands on the
handle bars. This would require securing any
carried items (packages, etc.) in a safe manner.

§ 32:196. Clinging to vehicles
No person riding upon bicycle, any skates,
skateboard or any other nonmotorized rideable
device shall attach himself or the bicycle, device
to any vehicle upon a highway.

§ 32:197. Riding on roadways and bicycle
paths
A. Every person operating a bicycle upon a
roadway shall ride as near to the right side of the
roadway as practicable, exercising due care when
passing a standing vehicle or one proceeding in
the same direction.

Note: ―Practicable‖ has been interpreted to
mean safe. Recall, from the engineering section,
that the gutter flag of some roadways creates a
dangerous longitudinal joint, a gap, in the road
surface about 1 ½ - 2 feet from the curb. It is not
safe for a bicyclist to operate near this gap.
Also, debris, drain grates etc., and the curb head
itself, make it unsafe to operate within the gutter.
In these cases, the edge of the roadway would be
considered ―obstructed.‖

B. Persons riding bicycles upon a roadway shall
not ride more than two abreast except on paths or
parts of roadways set aside for the exclusive use
of bicycles.
C. Whenever a usable path for bicycles has been
provided adjacent to a roadway, bicycle riders
shall use such path and shall not use the
roadway.

51


Note: Requiring bicyclists to use so called ―side
path‖ may not be practicable, or safe. Modern
bike paths are generally, but not always,
designed and built for bicyclists traveling at a
maximum speed of 20 M.P.H. However,
bicyclists often travel in excess of this speed.
Motorists expect users of paths to be traveling at
a slow rate of speed. They do not expect high
speed (15+ M.P.H.) bicyclists at the intersections
of roadways and paths. Under these conditions
collisions between motorists and bicyclists are
likely.

There are many users of paths including:
wheelchairs, baby strollers, walkers, dog
walkers, joggers, in-line skaters, and child
bicyclists. These users do not mix well with
high speed bicyclists. Bicyclists fair best, and
cause fewer conflicts, when they are allowed to
ride on the roadway, even if there is an adjacent
path.

§ 32:199. Bicycle helmets; restraining seats
A. The following words and phrases when used
in this Section shall have the meaning assigned
to them:
(1) "Approved helmet" means a bicycle helmet
that meets or exceeds the following minimum
bicycle helmet safety standards:
(a) A bicycle helmet that was manufactured prior
to March, 1999, shall meet or exceed the
minimum bicycle helmet safety standards set by
the American National Standards Institute or the
Snell Memorial Foundation.
(b) A bicycle helmet that was manufactured after
March, 1999, shall meet or exceed the minimum
bicycle helmet safety standards set by the
Consumer Product Safety Commission.
(2) "Bicycle" means a human-powered vehicle
with two tandem wheels designed to transport,
by pedaling, one or more persons.
(3) "Operator" means a person who travels on a
bicycle seated on a saddle seat from which that
person is intended to and can pedal the bicycle.
(4) "Passenger" means any person who travels on
a bicycle in any manner except as an operator.
(5) "Restraining seat" means a seat separate from
the saddle seat of the operator of the bicycle that
is fastened securely to the frame of the bicycle
and is adequately equipped to restrain the
passenger in such seat and protect such
passenger from the moving parts of the bicycle.
B. With regard to any bicycle used on a public
roadway, public bicycle path, or other public
right of way, no parent, guardian, or person with
legal responsibility for the safety and welfare of
a child shall knowingly allow any of the
following:
(1) Such child under the age of twelve to operate
or ride as a passenger on a bicycle without
wearing an approved helmet of good fit fastened
securely upon the head with the straps of the
helmet.
(2) Such child who weighs less than forty pounds
or is less than forty inches in height to be a
passenger on a bicycle without being properly
seated in and adequately secured to a restraining
seat.
C. Notice shall be provided in accordance with
the following provisions:
(1) A person regularly engaged in the business of
selling or renting bicycles shall post a sign
stating the following: "Louisiana law requires a
bicycle operator or passenger under the age of
twelve years to wear a bicycle helmet when
riding a bicycle. Louisiana law also requires a
passenger who weighs less than forty pounds or
is less than forty inches in height to be properly
seated in and adequately secured to a restraining
seat."
(2) The sign must be at least twenty-four inches
in length and twelve inches in width. The
lettering on the sign must be at least one inch in
height. The sign must be posted conspicuously
so that it is clearly visible to all persons buying
or renting bicycles.
D. The issuance of a citation for a violation of
this Section shall not be prima facie evidence of
negligence. The comparative negligence statutes
of Louisiana shall apply in these cases as in all
other cases of negligence.
E. The Louisiana Highway Safety Commission
shall provide funds to the Louisiana Safe Kids
Coalition to be used for the purchase of bicycle
helmets. These helmets shall be distributed by
the Louisiana Safe Kids Coalition to indigent
persons in furtherance of the provisions of this
Section.
F. The provisions of R.S. 32:57 shall not apply to
a violation of this Section. No civil penalties or
court costs shall be assessed for any violation of
this Section.

§ 32:263. Special restrictions on use of
Louisiana Interstate highways
B. No person shall drive, or permit to be driven
on any Louisiana interstate highway, any farm
tractor, road tractor or other vehicle which is
normally operated at a speed of less than 20
miles per hour.

52

C. The use of any Louisiana interstate highway
by pedestrians, bicycles, or other non-motorized
vehicles is prohibited.

§ 32:329. Bicycles; front lamps; side and rear
reflectors
A. Every bicycle when in use at nighttime shall
be equipped with a lamp on the front which shall
emit a white light visible from a distance of at
least five hundred feet to the front and with a red
reflector on the rear and a reflector on each side
facing outward at a right angle to the bicycle
frame, all of a type approved by the department
which shall be visible from all distances within
six hundred feet to one hundred feet to the rear
when directly in front of lawful lower beams of
headlamps on a motor vehicle. A lamp emitting a
red light visible from a distance of five hundred
feet to the rear may be used in addition to the red
reflector.
B. After December 31, 1974, no person shall sell
or offer for sale any bicycle unless such bicycle
is equipped with at least one red reflector on the
rear and one reflector on each side as required by
this section. This section shall not apply to
bicycles while engaged in sanctioned
competition races.

To be ridden at night, a bicycle must always
have a white light to the front and a red rear
reflector. A red rear light is optional. There is
no size requirement for the reflectors – the
bigger the better.

§ 32:41. Power of local municipal authorities
A. Except as otherwise provided by law, this
Chapter shall not be deemed to prevent local
municipal authorities, with respect to highways
other than state maintained highways within their
corporate limits, from adopting ordinances:
(7) Requiring the registration and licensing of
bicycles, including the requirement of a
registration fee;

§ 32:346. Brakes on bicycles
Every bicycle shall be equipped with a brake
which will enable the operator to make the
braked wheels skid on dry, level, clean
pavement.

§ 32:71. Driving on right side of road;
exceptions
A. Upon all roadways of sufficient width a
vehicle shall be driven upon the right half of the
roadway, except as follows:
(1) When overtaking and passing another vehicle
proceeding in the same direction under the rules
governing such movement, including passing
lanes;
(2) When the right half of a roadway is closed to
traffic while under construction or repair;
(3) Upon a roadway designated and signposted
for one-way traffic.
B. (1) Upon all multilane highways any vehicle
proceeding at less than the normal speed of
traffic at the time and place and under the
circumstances then existing, shall be driven in
the right-hand lane then available for traffic
except when preparing for a left turn at an
intersection or into a private road or driveway, or
passing or overtaking a vehicle proceeding in the
same direction, if passing on the left side of it.
Nothing herein contained shall be construed to
authorize driving any vehicle in the left lane so
as to prohibit, impede or block passage of an
overtaking vehicle in such lane and in such event
the vehicle in the left lane prohibiting, impeding
or blocking passage of an overtaking vehicle
shall expeditiously merge into the right lane of
traffic.
(2) In addition to the requirement of Paragraph 1
hereof, any vehicle proceeding on a multilane
highway at a speed slower than ten miles per
hour less than the posted maximum speed limit
shall be driven in the right hand lane then
available for traffic, or as close as practicable to
the right hand curb or edge of the roadway,
except when overtaking and passing a vehicle
proceeding in the same direction or when
preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into
a private road or driveway. Persons in violation
of this Paragraph shall be punished by a fine of
not more than one hundred dollars, or by
imprisonment for not more than thirty days, or
both.


Based on bicycle crash data, the laws which will
have the greatest affect on bicycle safety include:

Stop at stop sign R.S. 32:123
Traffic-control signal R.S. 32:232
Required position and
method of turning at
intersections R.S. 32:101

53

Vehicle entering highway
from private road,
driveway, alley or
building R.S. 32:124
Drivers to exercise due
care R.S. 32:214
Possession of alcoholic
beverages R.S. 32:300
OWI R.S. 14:98

Required position and
method of turning at
intersections R.S. 32:101
Vehicle turning left at
intersection R.S. 32:122
Stop at stop sign R.S. 32:123
Vehicle entering highway
from private road,
driveway, alley or
building R.S. 32:124
Speed R.S. 32:64
Limitations on passing
bicycles R.S 32:76.1
Possession of alcoholic
beverages R.S. 32:300
Harassment of bicyclist
prohibited R.S. 32:201
OWI R.S. 14:98

Bicyclists Under the Influence

A Louisiana Supreme Court decision, State of
Louisiana v. Carr, 99-2209 (La. 5/26/2000); 761
So.2b 1271, ruled that the language ―other means
of conveyance‖ found in R.S. 14:98 does not
apply to bicycles. Therefore, this statue can not
be used to cite an individual operating a bicycle
while under the influence. Nonetheless,
operating a bicycle while under the influence is
still dangerous for both the bicyclists and those
around them. Officers should look for
opportunities to remove intoxicated bicyclists
from the road to a safer location.


1. Hunter, et al. Pedestrian and Bicycle
Crash Types of the Early 1990’s.
USDOT, FHWA publication No.
FHWA-RD-95-163. 1996.

2. Louisiana Criminal Law and Motor
Vehicle Handbook, 2006-2007 Edition.
LexisNexis. 2006.

54



Upon completing this section, students will be
able to:
1. List six goals of law enforcement.
2. State several reasons why officers typically
do not enforce pedestrian and bicycle laws.
3. Describe several enforcement strategies.
4. List the advantages of targeted enforcement.
5. Articulate which law violations should be
targeted to improve pedestrian and bicycle
safety.
6. Describe why different enforcement options
are effective.


As we have seen from the information presented
thus far, the most promising ways to reduce
deaths and injuries to pedestrians and bicyclists
seem to be through a combined approach of
engineering, education and enforcement.
Suppose for a moment that we were able to
design transportation systems, which were
perfectly safe for pedestrians and bicycles. Also
suppose that we could provide everyone with
education which would give them the ability to
avoid crashes. Wouldn‘t we then have a crash-
free pedestrian and bicycling environment? NO!

There will always be individuals who choose to
operate outside of the law, and these people are
dangerous to the rest of society. Most people
who were involved in a crash and had broken a
law were aware that they had done so. Why,
then, did they break the law? People obey laws
primarily because they fear the consequences of
violations—tickets, fines, insurance increase,
parental discipline, etc.

Improve voluntary compliance with the laws
Identify and correct violator behavior
Affect a behavioral change in the
community
Reinforce education efforts
Reduce the number of crashes
Reduce the consequences resulting from
these crashes



Who should enforce?
There are many options as to who should enforce
laws for pedestrians and bicyclists, and each of
them has been used successfully. The individual
characteristics of your department and
community will determine the best option. For
this reason, no specific recommendations are
given here—only a brief outline of various
options.

Officers in squad cars
Advantages:
Already available, minimal additional cost,
easier to stop motorists, more authority presence
for some violators
Disadvantages:
Other traffic and crime take priority, difficult to
stop pedestrians and bicyclists

Motorcycle officers
Advantages:
More credible to bicyclists, can stop motorists
and bicyclists
Disadvantages:
Weather, fewer motorcycles available, other
duties

Police bicycle squad
Advantages:
More credible to bicyclists (and pedestrians),
better motivation, fewer training problems,
simplified administration and record keeping,
good for small departments with a few motivated
officers, fits in with community oriented policing
concepts
Disadvantages:
Loss of coverage for other types of enforcement,
other officers may not enforce pedestrian and
bicycle laws, relative difficulty of stopping
motorists

Foot patrols
Advantages:
More credible to pedestrians (and bicyclists), fits
in with community oriented policing concepts
Disadvantages:
Relative difficulty of stopping motorists and
bicyclists





55

Civilian bike patrols
Advantages:
Frees up regular officers, lends visibility to the
program, can provide good public relations (bike
ambassadors), few motivational problems
Disadvantages:
Higher operational costs, time required to train
patrols, young patrollers may have difficulties
with older violators, not as effective without
citation power, there my be legal challenges to
civilian-issued citations, bad patrols equal bad
public relations, may target only pedestrian
and/or bicyclist behavior (not motorists), may
target only children, regular officers may resent
bike patrollers, regular officers may not enforce
ped./bike laws, ―it isn‘t their job.‖

Combined Approach
While each of the above-mentioned approaches
has its advantages and disadvantages, the best
solution may lie in a combined approach. For
example, officers in squad cars could assume
primary responsibility for the program during the
off season; then they could be joined by
motorcycle, bike, foot officers and civilian
patrollers during the peak months for added
support.

Why don’t police enforce pedestrian or
bicycle laws?
As obvious as it sounds, you cannot enforce laws
that you do not know and you will not enforce
laws that you cannot justify.

56

Common Excuses and Rational for Non-Enforcement Excuse or Rationale Busters
Peer Pressure ―Pedestrian and bike laws aren‘t
important enough‖ (few police
envision them as part of their role).

―They‘re not real crime‖
(this does not fit with their stereotype
of what the job is).

―Are you afraid to do real police
work?‖
Few police envision enforcement for
pedestrian and bicycle safety as part of
their role.

This does not fit with their stereotype of
what the job is.

Many officers don‘t know or care that
enforcement is a powerful tool in
preventing crashes, injuries, and deaths.

Many don‘t realize that law enforcement
with pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists
shapes future motor vehicle driving habits.

Society and its police may have developed
a ―tolerance‖ for pedestrian and bicycle
crashes until it affects someone they know
or love. It is considered a hazard of
walking and bicycling.
Social Pressure ―Why aren‘t you out catching
burglars?‖

―Why don‘t you pick on someone your
own size?‖

―Don‘t you have something better to
do?‖
Do you let what others say affect your
enforcement activity?

Name one other program or activity to
protect people, especially children, that
your community has opposed. How many
times have you heard a motorist complain
about those ―crazy walkers or bicyclists?‖
Pedestrians and bicyclists complain about
motorists too.

If the police don‘t enforce the laws, WHO
WILL?
Lack of Training ―They never taught me about
pedestrian and bicycle laws in recruit
school or field training, they must not
be important.‖

Police
Administration
―My chief (or Sgt.) wouldn‘t want me
to make a pedestrian or bicycle stop.‖

Not a department priority.
Administration is affected by the same
stereotypes you are. They may need
education.

Chiefs generally support the realistic
demands of the community they serve.

Most chiefs support programs which
benefit citizens, especially children, and
are popular with the community (DARE,
McGruff Houses, fingerprinting, etc.).

While there are undoubtedly exceptions,
are you sure your chief won‘t support
enforcement for pedestrian and bicycle
safety if well-planned and professionally
presented and conducted?

57

State‘s Attorney
(Prosecutor)
―This matter is too petty.‖

―My calendar is crammed, and you
bring me this?‖

Does the prosecutor even know the
laws or how to handle one of these
cases?
Enforcement can still be effective without
sending people to court, citations are but
one option.

Do you agree with every decision your
prosecutor hands down?

Do you quit doing your job simply because
the prosecutors don‘t or won‘t do theirs?
Courts Same reason as prosecutor, who often
repeats what the judges told them.
Same as above.

Remember, judges and prosecutors can be
swayed by a vocal minority of reasonable,
knowledgeable people (e.g., MADD).
Fines ―Too high‖

―Too low‖

―It doesn‘t go on their record.‖
Pedestrian and bicyclist‘s fines are usually
less than those issued to motor vehicle
drivers for the same offense.

These violations rarely, if ever go on a
driver‘s record.

Do fine schedules ever make all of the
police happy?
Time ―I don‘t have time for trivial matters.‖

―I only have time for ‗real‘ crime.‖
Do you have time for other self-initiated
traffic enforcement?

Do you have time for more important
citations like expired registration, parking
violations, or equipment violations?

Do these more important violations have
the potential to save a life, or do they just
fit more into the stereotype of what a police
officer does?

If you are busy, you can always give a
verbal warning over the P.A.
Remembering Own
Childhood
―Cops never stopped me for riding my
bike or crossing the street wrong.‖

―That‘s not what police do.‖
What you remember from your childhood
has a name—history!

Equipment and technology are different.
The way police operate is different.

Years ago, you rarely saw a police officer
in school. Today they are commonplace.

Society has changed. Highways are
crowded, people are in a hurry, tempers are
short, and violence over minor traffic
squabbles is increasing - Road rage.

As times change, so must the police. As
the job changes, old stereotypes must go
out the door! If the new millennium has a
name, it is change.

58

Communication
With Children
Not comfortable talking to kids.

Don‘t like kids.

Don‘t want to scare them or make them
cry.

Don‘t want to give them a ―bad‖ image
of the police.
How many times during your shift do you
deal with juveniles?

Do you treat them any differently than
adults?

Do you not take action simply because they
are juveniles?

Treat them as responsible or potentially
responsible people; don‘t ―talk down‖ to
them.
Waiting for THE
BIG ONE
―If I tie myself up with this minor stuff,
I won‘t be able to back my partner or
respond to an emergency.‖
What officer has never had a car stopped
when an emergency came out? Figuring
out how to clear is rarely a problem!

If this is your excuse for avoiding self-
initiated activity, it is doubtful that you
have any. Why don‘t you join the fire
department?
They Will Only Hurt
Themselves
―Look at that idiot. Fortunately, he
will only hurt himself if he gets run
over.‖
Physically this maybe true, but not
emotionally, civilly, or financially.

Even ―innocent‖ drivers experience anxiety
and stress when they are involved in a
crash, especially if it‘s a fatality. Many
drivers carry emotional scars forever.

Civilly, totally faultless drivers can be sued
and incur costs for lawyers, deductibles,
increased rates, etc.

Have you ever had to make a death
notification to the loved one of a pedestrian
or bicyclist killed in a traffic crash? But
they only hurt themselves!

(Adapted from: Bicycle and Pedestrian Enforcement Issues. Presented by Coon Rapids, Minnesota Officer
Kirby Beck at the 1994 Wisconsin State Bicycle Conference.)

59

Enforcement Strategies
There are two basic types of enforcement
strategies—the shotgun approach and targeted
enforcement.

The shotgun approach involves enforcing every
violation. In this approach, the attempt is to
make a statement (―You will follow the
pedestrian and bicycle laws!‖) and to obtain
rapid compliance. This approach, however, has
several disadvantages. It requires massive
participation, it may be very expensive, there
may be negative responses from the public, and
it is hard to maintain the necessary energy level
with other priorities pressing for attention.
Consequently, this approach only works for a
short period of time.

Targeted enforcement, on the other hand,
targets violators by location, time of day,
infraction, age of violator, etc. By targeting the
violation, the officer is essentially looking for
crashes about to happen. There are several
advantages to targeted enforcement:

Prevents crashes: Focuses on those violations
which most often result in crashes.

Budgets time: The officer is being most effective
on his/her shift by targeting those violations.

Promotes public support: Answers the question,
―Why am I being stopped?‖ The officer can say
with unquestionable validity that the violation is
the type that is likely to result in a crash if it is
not corrected. The public is less likely to see
bicyclists, especially children, as being picked
on. Rather, safety is the message.

Encourages officers to learn the pedestrian and
bicycle laws: It is important to know what you
are talking about. The ―serious‖ bicyclist (or
pedestrian) is much better informed than the
average street cop on pedestrian and bicycle
laws. Officers gain respect when well informed.

Applies effective, identified countermeasures to
a specific traffic problem or area: targeted
enforcement is an accepted law enforcement
practice.

Information from crash studies indicate that,
generally speaking, there are several violations
that should be targeted. These are the violations
which contribute to the greatest number of deaths
and injuries. If they are curtailed, it would be
expected that a significant decrease would be
seen in the number of deaths and injuries over
time. Note that the target violations include
pedestrian, bicyclist and motorist violations.

Target pedestrian violations
Officers will have the greatest impact in reducing
pedestrian-error crashes by working to reduce
these violations:
Sudden entry into roadway
Not yielding to vehicles (mid-block,
crosswalks)
Interfering with vehicle at controlled
intersection (when crossing on red signal)

Target bicyclist violations
Officers will have the greatest impact in reducing
bicyclist-error crashes by working to reduce
these violations:
Disobeying stop signs or red lights
Riding on the wrong side of the road
Failure to yield right of way (at uncontrolled
intersections, when entering the road, or
when making a left turn)
Headlight/reflector requirements
Improper change of course (unexpected left
turns)

Target motorist violations
Failure to yield right of way (when making
turns, including right turns on red lights, left
turns, and when entering the roadway)
Speed
OWI
Improper passing

Positive reinforcement programs
May range from stickers and sports cards to ice
cream and meals to drawings for walking and
bicycle gear. (These activities have traditionally
been targeted towards children; however,
positive reinforcement for adults may work as
well.)
Create positive peer pressure
Great PR for the police department
Reinforces other enforcement efforts

Note: Some officers have expressed concerns
about ―stopping‖ pedestrians and bicyclists when
they haven‘t broken a law (without probable
cause). Many opportunities exist to reward non-
motorized travelers without ―stopping‖ them.
Observing good behavior and then waiting in a

60

location where pedestrians or bicyclists will
naturally stop is one option. Another is to give
out the rewards in much the same way as football
cards. Quiz the pedestrian or bicyclist on safe
behavior.

Verbal warning
Education, not punishment
Can be done quickly
May be done without leaving the car
Good positive contact between police and
violator
Reinforces other enforcement efforts

Written warning
This is not an option under current
Louisiana law R.S.398.1C The issuance of
warning citations for violations of motor
vehicle laws of this state is hereby
specifically prohibited

Citation
Issued just like any other type of citation
(identify violator, location, type of vehicle
(brand, model, speeds, color, serial or
registration number), facts of the violation,
traffic conditions, weather conditions, other
factors)
Reinforces other enforcement efforts
Fines/penalty (fine, bicycle class,
community service, peer court for juveniles)

When starting a bicycle enforcement program,
there are several key steps which must be taken:
Make sure there is department
administration support for the program
Identify your specific situation and show
how law enforcement can help
Select a program coordinator
A motivated coordinator has been the key to
many successful programs
Obtain the support of the courts and
prosecutor
Explain your program and solicit input
before it starts
Establish department policies and
procedures before starting out. Explain your
program and solicit input before it starts.
The model policies and procedures in this
manual should be of assistance
Educate all those affected about the program
Build community support. This can be done
by advertising in the media, giving
informational presentations, etc.

61



Upon completing this section, students will be
able to:
1. Describe a Pedestrian Enforcement Action
2. Describe the benefits of conducting a
pedestrian Enforcement Action.
3. Explain how to conduct a Pedestrian
Enforcement Action.


Nearly everyone is a pedestrian during some part
of their day. Ensuring that pedestrians are able
to safely and enjoyably cross the street is critical
to pedestrian safety and mobility. ―…drivers
have a near absolute duty to avoid running down
persons in the street, regardless of whether they
were there legally or not.‖
(1)


A Pedestrian Enforcement Action is a law
enforcement activity and media event with two
main goals: 1) Identify, stop and warn or cite
motorists and bicyclists who fail to yield the
right of way to pedestrians and bicyclists legally
using a crosswalk, 2) Educate the general public
about pedestrian safety and pedestrian, bicyclist
and motorist rights and responsibilities under the
law.



Sometimes referred to as a ―Sting‖, the modern
Pedestrian Enforcement Action was developed
by Lieutenant John Miner and Officer Betsy
Cable, of the City of Redmond, Washington
Police Department.
(2)
Pedestrian Enforcement
Actions have been successfully introduced in
many states throughout the United States
including Nevada, Florida, Oregon and
Wisconsin.


0
20
40
60
80
100
20mph 30 mph 40 mph

Pedestrian Enforcement Actions have proven to
be effective in identifying and stopping violator
and repeat violator behavior.

The purposes of a Pedestrian Enforcement
Action are to:
Identify and stop violators
Educate the general public
Effectuate a cultural change
Improve pedestrian safety (perceived and
actual)

To conduct a Pedestrian Enforcement Action:
Identify high risk locations
Observe the problem and identify the types
of violations
Calculate stopping distance
Select ―pedestrian(s)‖ to be used
Alert the media
Enforce target violations

Pedestrian Enforcement Actions may be
conducted on any road with a crosswalk, marked
or unmarked. However, certain locations will be
more desirable than others. When picking a
location consider crash history, perceived

62

conflicts, pedestrian and vehicular traffic
volumes, number of traffic lanes, speed,
enforceability and officer safety.

Before conducting a Pedestrian Enforcement
Action take the time to observe the location
chosen for the action. Take not of:
Pedestrian and motorist behavior
Potential hazards to pedestrians, vehicles and
officers
Common law violations
Where enforcement officers will be positioned
Time of day with most conflicts

Calculate stopping distance

Buffer Zone Measurements
30 mph 35
mph
40
mph
45
mph
Vehicle
traveling
44.1 fps 51.45
fps
58.8
fps
66.15
fps
Two
second
perception/
Reaction
distance
88.2 ft. 102.9
ft.
117.6
ft.
132.3 ft
Braking
distance**
50 ft. 68.13
ft.
89.2
ft.
112.63
ft.
Total
Buffer
Zone
Distance
138.2 ft. 171.03
ft.
206.8
ft.
244.93
ft.
*Speed distances are calculated using 1.47 feet
per second per mph.
**Braking distances are slide to stop formulas
using a .6 co-efficient of friction. (Braking
distance source: Reno Police Department Traffic
Division.)

Traditionally, Pedestrian Enforcement Actions
have used plain clothed law enforcement officers
(or officers in highly visible-florescent-clothing)
as ―pedestrians.‖ This method allows the
―pedestrian‖ officer to observe violations first
hand and then radio the violation, violator and
vehicle description to a ―chase‖ officer who then
makes the stop. If staffing is not available for
―chase‖ officers, a single officer in a patrol car
may conduct the Pedestrian Enforcement Action
alone. With this method officers simply observe
normal pedestrian behavior and stop any
motorist violators. This method requires officers
to position themselves where they can both
observe any violation and make the violator stop.

As above, one or more ―chase‖ officers may be
used as staffing permits.

The media should be notified when large-scale
Pedestrian Enforcement Actions are going to be
conducted. Because of the logistics of
conducting these actions (including cost and
staffing issues), only a limited number of vehicle
operators and pedestrians can be reached
directly. However, if the media is invited, a
much larger audience can be made aware of the
need to use caution in and around crosswalks.
The media can be informed of pending
Pedestrian Enforcement Actions via news
releases which provide the date, location, time
and purpose of the activity.

This section should not imply that Pedestrian
Enforcement Actions cannot be conducted
without the media. In fact, officers should be
encouraged to enforce crosswalk, and other
pedestrian violations as part of their “routine”
patrols.

Enforcing the following violations at
intersections will help prevent the majority of
pedestrian/vehicle crashes.

Target Violations: Vehicle Operators
Stop at stop sign R.S. 32:123
Traffic-control signal R.S. 32:232
Pedestrians right of way in
crosswalks (one vehicle)
R.S.
32:212(A)
Pedestrians right of way in
crosswalks (passing stopped
vehicle)
R.S.
32:212(C)
Pedestrians right of way on
sidewalks
R.S. 32:219
Vehicle entering highway from
private road, driveway,
alley or building
R.S. 32:124
Drivers to exercise due care

R.S. 32:214
Speed


R.S. 32:64




63

Target Violations: Pedestrians
Sudden entry into roadway R.S.
32:212(B)
Pedestrians on highways or
interstate highways
R.S.
32:216(B)
Crossing at other than
crosswalks
R.S. 32:213
Traffic-control signal R.S. 32:232
Pedestrian-control signals R.S. 32:233


1. Education & Enforcement. Walkinginfo.org.
13 July 2006
http://www.walkinginfo.org/ee/enforcement_over
view.htm

2. Education & Enforcement. Walkinginfo.org.
13 July 2006
http://www.walkinginfo.org/ee/sting.htm

64



Upon completing this section, students will be
able to:
1. State the significance of the bicycle theft
problem.
2. Describe several techniques used to steal
bicycles.
3. Describe several methods of preventing
bicycle thefts.


How big a problem is bicycle theft? Is it a
problem?

Here are a few statistics from the National Bike
Registry:
(1)


Over 1.5 million bikes are stolen each year.
The average value of a stolen bicycle is at
least $250.
Bicycle theft costs Americans upwards of
$200 million annually.
By some estimates, a bike is stolen every 1.2
minutes.
Bikes are stolen at three times the rate of
cars.
Only 20-50 percent of bicycle thefts are
reported.
Half of all stolen bikes end up in police
property rooms.
Less than two percent of stolen bikes get
returned.

Integrated Cycle Systems has claimed that:
(2)

―A four-year college student has a 53
percent chance of having his or her bicycle
stolen.‖
A nationwide campus crime survey
conducted by Lock Smart with participation
by the International Association of Campus
Law Enforcement Administrators and the
National Crime Prevention Institute found
that bicycle theft rates between 1989 and
1993 rose a dramatic 59.6 percent.


38.7 percent of bicycles are stolen while
secured with a cable or chain.
33.8 percent are stolen while secured with a
U-lock.
It takes a ―good‖ thief seven seconds to
violate a U-lock, cable, or chain.

Techniques Used to Defeat Bike Locks
Device Technique
Cable cable cutters, snips
Chains bolt cutters, hacksaws
U-Locks car jacks (leverage) and New York
pry bar method (these two methods
account for approximately 90 percent
of U-lock failures)

other methods (Freon, drilling, torch,
zip wheel, picking, sledgehammer,
saws, and bolt cutters)

Theft Prevention
Techniques for preventing bicycle thefts:
1. Reduce crimes of opportunity (unlocked or
improperly locked bicycles)
2. Educate the public in how and where to
secure bicycles
3. Install adequate bicycle parking facilities
4. Educate police in bicycle theft methods
5. Increase prosecution of thieves
6. Promote bicycle registration
7. Promote bicycle engraving (Note: engraving
social security number may not facilitate
owner identification due to data privacy
laws)

1. Bicycle theft. National Bike Registry. 10
February 2003, 10 October 2007
<www.nationalbikeregistry.com>.

2. Integrated Cycle Systems, Lock Smart
Handbook, San Francisco: Integrated Cycle
Systems, Inc., 1993.

65



Upon completing this section, students will be
able to:
1. List items specific to pedestrian and bicycle
crash scenes which should be noted in a
crash report and why.
2. State what role alcohol plays in crashes for
motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists.
3. State why reporting traffic crashes is
important.
4. Describe when there is a legal requirement
to report a traffic crash.
5. Describe situations in which a pedestrian or
bicycle crash may not get reported.
6. List several keys to working with the media.


Crash investigation (reconstruction)
(1)

As with any crash investigation, pay close
attention to the statements of victims and
witnesses. Does what they say match the
evidence at the scene? Make special notes on:

The Pedestrian or Bicyclist
Age, gender, experience level
Alcohol or drug use or other impaired
physical condition
Helmet use; type, evidence of impact
(bicyclist)
Color of clothing (retro-reflective material)
Glasses/eye protection (bicyclist)
Headphone use; volume level

The Bicycle
Make, model, serial number, and/or
registration number
Type (road, mountain, BMX - girl‘s or
boy‘s)
Frame size (this is not the wheel size)
Number of gears (gear position/front and
rear)
Headlight, reflector, taillight; others attached
to rider
Mirror on bike or rider
Brakes (type and operating condition)
Tires (new or worn; if flat from blowout
crash)
Overall bike condition

The Road
Pedestrian facilities; e.g., sidewalk,
crosswalk (marked, unmarked), path
Bicycle facilities; e.g., bike lane, bike route,
adjacent path
Surface type, number of lanes, parking
lanes, curb height, curb flag width
Shoulder width and surface type
Surface condition/hazards; potholes, cracks,
uneven pavement, or debris (rocks, glass,
trash)
Visual or other obstructions for bike or car
within 200 feet; e.g., parked cars,
construction barricades, shrubbery
Speed limit

Weather Conditions
Visibility: daylight, dark, cloudy, foggy, etc.
Precipitation: type, amount, accumulation on
road surface
Wind: speed, direction; gusts or crosswind
(was the bicyclist riding into a head wind?)


Pedestrians
Nationally
In approximately 10 percent of crashes
alcohol is listed as a contributing factor.
(2)

Males 24-44 years of age were most likely
to have been using alcohol.
(2)


Louisiana
According to the Highway Safety
Commission, between 1999 and 2007, at
least 257 of 917 pedestrians killed (28%)
has a BAC of greater than .08.

Bicyclists
Nationally
―Overall, use of alcohol or drugs by
bicyclists occurred in about five percent of
all crashes.‖
(2)

Males 24-44 years of age were most likely
to have been using alcohol.
(2)


Louisiana
According to the Highway Safety
Commission, between 1999 and 2007, 44 of
183 bicyclists killed (24%) has a BAC of
greater than .08.

66


Crash reports are the primary source of
pedestrian and bicycle crash information. When
and how well they are filled out has a great deal
to do with the quality of the statistics, which can
be derived from them. Many times reports that
are received are inaccurate and/or incomplete.
Great care needs to be taken when filling out
these reports.

The Crash Report
When completing a crash report form for a
pedestrian or bicycle crash, make sure that all
boxes are filled in properly and completely.
Since you likely respond to pedestrian and
bicycle crashes less often than motor vehicle
only crashes, take whatever extra time is
necessary to ensure that the form is filled out
properly and that valuable information is not
lost.

Crash reports for pedestrian and bicycle crashes
are utilized by engineers and planners in the
same way that motor vehicle crash data is
utilized: to identify specific problem areas and
allocate scarce resources to such areas. The time
you spend to accurately investigate a crash and
submit a report will pay off by providing
policymakers with the best information possible
to identify problem areas and address them
through engineering, education and enforcement

Narratives and diagrams on pedestrian and
bicycle crash forms are often unclear.
Remember that the narrative and diagram must
paint a picture of what led to the crash in short
and precise sentences.

Unit two, a bicycle, was traveling east bound, on
the roadway, in the 400 Block of Wilson St. Unit
one, a SUV, traveling west bound on Wilson St.,
turned left into the driveway of 410 Wilson St.
Unit one struck unit two on the left side. The
driver of unit one said he did not see unit two.


The State of Louisiana requires an accident
report to be filed if there was:
1. Injury to or death of any person or;
2. Property damage in excess of $500

There are several problems with this definition as
it relates to pedestrian and bicycle crashes and
the gathering of bicycle crash related statistics.

1. There is no requirement to do a report on a
crash if it occurs off of the traffic way.
Many bicycle crashes occur off of the traffic
way and thus are not reported.
2. If there is not a motor vehicle involved, the
crash does not need to be reported. Only
about 17 percent of all bicycle crashes
involve motor vehicles.
3. If the crash does not involve a death or
injury and property damage is less than
$500, no report needs to be completed. In a
collision with a motor vehicle, a bicycle may
be totally destroyed and the $500 limit may
still not be met.

Given these reporting problems, it is easy to see
why only about 10 percent of all bicycle crashes
get reported nationwide.
(4, 5)

A crash report should be completed on every
reported pedestrian and bicycle crash. If the
crash is not ―reportable‖ based on state reporting
requirements an internal report should still be
taken and kept on file. The information from
these reports is invaluable in determining the
extent of the pedestrian and bicycle crash
problem and in identifying particularly
hazardous locations, times of day, etc. This
information can assist in the design of
countermeasures to reduce these crashes.

For advanced analysis of pedestrian and bicycle
crashes the U.S. Department of Transportation -
Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has
developed the Pedestrian and Bicycle Crash
Analysis Tool (PBCAT). This computer bases
programs allows large numbers of crashes to be
analyzed for similarities (crash typing) which
assists with the development of engineering,
education and enforcement countermeasures.


1. Beck, Kirby, The Minnesota Peace Officer’s
Guide to Bicycle Traffic Management,
Seattle: Outdoor Empire Publishing, Inc.,
1991.

2. Hunter, et al. Pedestrian and Bicycle Crash
Types of the Early 1990’s. USDOT, FHWA
publication No. FHWA-RD-95-163. 1996.

67


3. Stutts, J. An analysis of Bicycle Data from
Ten North Carolina Hospital Rooms.
Chapel Hill, North Carolina: Highway
Safety Research Center, 1986.

4. Stutts, J.C., Williamson, J.E., Sheldon, F.C.
―Bicycle accidents: An examination of
hospital emergency room reports and
comparison with police accident data.‖
Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina
Highway Safety Research Center, 1988.

5. Jones, Bobby. ―Bicycle/Pedestrian Crash
Reconstruction Workshop.‖ Madison,
Wisconsin: Madison Police Department,
1999.

6. ―Community Bicycle Safety Course for Law
Enforcement.‖ National Highway Traffic
Safety Administration, 2002.

68



Upon completing this section, students will be
able to:
1. Explain why it is important for law
enforcement to partner with other
professions and individuals to improve
pedestrian and bicycle safety and enjoyment.
2. List several potential law enforcement
partners.
3. Describe ways to recruit new partners.


Law enforcement is a powerful tool in improving
pedestrian and bicycle safety and enjoyment.
However, law enforcement alone is seldom the
complete solution to a highway safety problem.
Law enforcement officers and their departments
have limitations in terms of their ability to
control all of the factors which effect pedestrian
and bicycle safety and enjoyment. Trying to fix
a highway safety problem via a single
perspective or profession (e.g., law enforcement)
is seldom effective and can be extremely
frustrating. ―Injuries and fatalities due to bicycle
(and pedestrian) crashes are not solely a police
problem but also a community problem.
Partnership efforts may be the single most
important means of preventing injuries and
saving lives. Partnering means giving up the
―lone Ranger‖ mentality and focusing on solving
mutual problems and achieving mutual goals.‖
(1)


―The general reason to build a partnership within
the community is to ensure the success of the
program.
(1)


Problem solving approaches that involve
multiple groups, organizations and individuals
who are involved in all aspects of highway safety
problem solving (Engineering, Education and
Enforcement) are generally much more effective
and satisfying.

Program partners come in many shapes and
sizes and include:
Active supporters (e.g., individuals,
organizations, businesses)
Workers, volunteers, promoters, contributors
Anyone providing work, facilities,
promotions, endorsements, time or money

Typical partners for improving pedestrian and
bicycle safety include:
Law enforcement
Bicycle and running clubs
Emergency medical services
State and federal advocacy groups
Public and private schools
Insurance companies
Planners and engineers
Architects
Public works departments
Municipal staff
Elected/appointed officials
Bicycle retailers
Louisiana Department of Transportation and
Development
Etc.


―A key component to remember when recruiting:
WIIFM (What‘s In It For Me?). In order to get
new partners to join your program efforts, you
will have to show them that the program has
something to offer them.‖
(1)


1. ―Community Bicycle Safety Course for Law
Enforcement.‖ National Highway Traffic
Safety Administration, 2002.

69


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72



Flucke, Peter
President
WE BIKE
1144 Hawthorn Road
Green Bay WI 54313-5812
(920) 497-3196
(920) 499-8492 (fax)
info@webike.org
www.webike.org
www.dot.wisconsin.gov

Jatres, Dan
Pedestrian & Bicycle Programs
New Orleans Regional Planning Commission
10 Veterans Memorial Blvd
New Orleans, LA 70124
(504) 483-8505
(504) 483-8526 (fax)
djatres@norpc.org

Parsons, Brain
Bicycle/Pedestrian Coordinator
Louisiana Department of Transportation and
Development
PO Box 94245
Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9245
(225) 379-1954
(225) 379-1807 (fax)
brian.parsons@la.gov

Parsons, Karen
Senior Transportation Planner
New Orleans Regional Planning Commission
10 Veterans Memorial Blvd
New Orleans, LA 70124
(504) 483-8511
(504) 483-8526 (fax)
kparsons@norpc.org
Adventure Cycling Association
150 East Pine Street
PO Box 8308
Missoula, MT 59807
(800) 755-2453
(406) 721-8754 (fax)
info@adventurecycling.org
www.adventurecycling.org

Association of Pedestrian and
Bicycle Professionals (APBP)
PO Box 93
Cedarburg, WI 53012
(262) 228-7025
(866) 720-3611 (fax)
info@apbp.org
www.apbp.org

International Police Mountain
Bike Association (IPMBA)
583 Frederick Road, Suite 5B
Baltimore, MD 21228
(410) 744-2400
(410) 744-5504 (fax)
info@ipmba.org
www.ipmba.org

Law Enforcement Bicycle Association (LEBA)
204 Willow Bend Drive
Clermont, FL 34711
(407) 832-4912
(800) 861-4912 (fax)
info@leba.org
www.leba.org

League of American Bicyclists (LAB)
1612 K. Street NW, Suite 800
Washington, DC 20006-2850
(202) 822-1333
(202) 822-1334 (fax)
bikeleague@bikeleague.org
www.bikeleague.org










73

The National Bike Registry Inc.
1475 Powell Street
Suite 101
Emeryville, CA 94608
(800) 848-BIKE (2453)
(510) 614-2400
(510) 428-0802 (fax)
NBR@boomerangit.com
www.nationalbikeregistry.com

National Center for Bicycling and Walking
(NCBW)
8120 Woodmont Ave, Suite 650
Bethesda, MD 20814
(301) 656-4220
(301) 656-4225 (fax)
info@bikewalk.org
www.bikewalk.org

Pedestrian Bicycle Information Center (PBIC)
730 Airport Road, Suite 300
Campus Box 3430
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3430
(919) 962-2203
(919) 962-8710 (fax)
pbic@pedbikeinfo.org
www.bicyclinginfo.org

Rails-to-Trails Conservancy
The Duke Ellington Building
2121 Ward Court NW
5th Floor
Washington DC 20037
(202) 331-9696
(202) 331-9680 (fax)
railtrails@transact.org
www.railtrails.org

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