Portland Maine Bicycle Commuting Message Board General Discussion › Excellent resource on bike law for police

Excellent resource on bike law for police

John B.
JohnB38
Westbrook, ME
Post #: 1,366
A Department Bulletin to Help Officers Understand Cyclist Safety and Lane Use

The above page on the Florida Bicycle Law website (cool that Florida has an entire website devoted to bicycle law, eh?) was created for the Orlando Police Department by a local officer on their officer advisory panel (and who has been working with bicycle advocate Keri Caffrey of Commute Orlando). It reinforces the right of bicyclists to a full lane under a variety of conditions, especially narrow lanes, with references to Florida statute, and explanations of why lane-taking behavior can be the safest option.

It includes some great illustrations and captions:


It may not look right because you don’t see it very often, but this is legal and it’s the safest position for a bicycle driver


Each of these crashes can be prevented by riding farther left

This appears to be a card-sized summary. Click to see the full-sized version:


Julie F.
user 11834930
Portland, ME
Post #: 4
I like it.

The Portland Police officer who tracked down the dangerous driver this week (the Hall School neighborhood close call) questioned my "pulling out in front of a driver while on your bicycle", as this is how the car driver described it in her account. I reminded him that there was no stop sign on our road and that since bikes are vehicles, we were following the laws of vehicles operating on roads. He responded "Oh yeah, bikes are vehicles."

I am grateful for the officer's work but it also left me wondering if the Portland Police are all on the same page about bicycle law.
John B.
JohnB38
Westbrook, ME
Post #: 1,368
I think they are not. Another member of our group had a problem last year with an officer giving him grief about taking a lane downtown. Yet, some have also had training from the Bicycle Coalition about bike law. I think it's safe to assume it's spotty. Thanks for educating another one.

In your situation, it seems obvious from your description that the driver had no plans of stopping at HER stop sign, so I think that alone would put the blame on her.
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