Bicyclists ask for better enforcement of traffic laws

CM Mendelson had a hearing on Friday about the enforcement of traffic laws, specifically with an eye on keeping vulnerable users safe. He heard some stories where vulnerable users were hurt or killed, but the driver was not even ticketed, or worse, the cyclist or pedestrian was without being interviewed.

Sometimes, victims testified, they haven’t been interviewed about the accidents in which they were injured.

Washington Area Bicyclist Association Executive Director Shane Farthing said the city’s police officers “often lack a basic understanding of cycling in the District.” He cited examples of a cyclist fined $100 after a taxi rider opened his door into the biker.

There were some calls to action

Families and friends of victims urged more traffic cameras to deter drivers from speeding. Others urged the enforcement of the existing laws — such as making sure that vehicles don’t block existing bike lanes.

Accident forms are written for vehicles, witnesses said.

Greater Greater Washington founder David Alpert said other countries and communities, such as Sweden, don’t assume that traffic fatalities are inevitable and have started “vision zero” initiatives in which they create goals to reduce deaths by looking at road design.