Police officers, prosecutors, and judges must treat bicyclists equitably, as full and equal road users in the investigation, citation, and prosecution of traffic laws, and in assigning fault/liability and awarding damages.
Police officers in particular must treat bicyclists as equal to other road users when investigating traffic crashes, particularly their status as:
- full and equal road users with a right to use roadway travel lanes as full and equal drivers making normal driver movements per the rules of the road
- persons entitled to the same due care in investigation work and reporting (into state collision databases),
- persons entitled to equal treatment when fault is assigned.
Judges must also treat bicyclists in civil and criminal trials as equal to other drivers when
- assessing the advisability of bicyclists using the roadway as drivers (controlling lanes, making normal driver movements, such as through movements, lane changes, turns, etc.),
- determining fault,
- awarding damages (including pain and suffering, economic loss, property loss, etc.).
To facilitate the above equity goals for police and judges, it is imperative that they receive education on proper enforcement and treatment of bicyclists when patrolling, investigating, issueing citations in the field, assigning fault (crash report and courtroom), and determining culpability in the courtroom. I am traffic sponsors such education programs (see Education for details).