Los Angeles has a new police chief named Charlie Beck. (Left.)
Just into his third month as chief, he has already met with community leaders promising to make "good policing and civil rights" the foundation of his LAPD legacy.
It was at one of these meetings Chief Beck was presented with a Cyclists' Bill of Rights and a challenge to put his leadership team to work towards making Los Angeles a better place for cyclists to ride.
As a result a LAPD Cycling Task Force has been formed headed by Commander David Doan. They recently met for a marathon session with representatives from various LA area cycling advocate groups.
These included, the Bike Writers Collective, illuminate LA, Sustainable Streets, Bikeside, the Voice, (a Bike Working Group) and the Los Angeles Bicycle Advisory Committee.
Commander Doan (Right.) convened the meeting saying, "The LAPD is committed to making our roadways safer for all commuters with an emphasis on our most vulnerable commuters, cyclists. We are committed to working with the cycling community to improve police cyclist interactions and to find ways to make our streets safer for everyone."
One of the first orders of business will be the education of LAPD officers who patrol the streets and the LA public as a whole on the rights of cyclists on streets of Los Angeles. Better investigation of accidents involving cyclists, and also “crimes” against cyclists was called for.
When a motorist "asserts" himself against a cyclist, it is not a simple traffic violation or traffic collision, it is a crime. Crimes against cyclists need to be treated as real crimes, not as simple infractions that are simply part of everyday traffic in Los Angeles.
A hit-and-run motorist that leaves a cyclist behind needs to be pursued and prosecuted to the full extent of the law.