Police Liaison: Spring 2015

Apr 15th, 2015 | By | Category: Spring 2015

By Jon Morrice, 55 Division Crime Prevention Officer

Spring is here and our streets are clear of the white stuff and full of cyclists. I would like to dedicate some time to cycling issues from a police officer’s experience. First, safety concerns for riders. The three fundamental rules of Police Vehicle Operations (PVO) that officers are taught are: Be Seen, Create Escapes, and Plan Ahead. Statistics show that most cyclist collisions occur at intersections. Apply the three rules to prevent yourself from becoming one of those stats. Be Seen by motorists as you approach an intersection by making your path obvious through use of hand signals. Create Escapes by not “boxing” yourself between vehicles, streetcars or parked cars. Plan Ahead by changing lanes well in advance, giving you time, and not making last minute maneuvers in front of vehicles. These rules apply to riding in all locations, not only intersections.

Bike-related investigations constantly reveal riders who have no or poor brakes and faint or no lighting. Motorists, pedestrians and other riders appreciate responsible riders, so check for these throughout your riding season. Routine upkeep is required. Remember the ABC’s: Air, Brakes and Chain. These parts should be well maintained.

Another element regarding bike-related investigations is Theft. Bike theft is common in all major cycling cities. In my experience, bikes are often left unlocked. Invest in a good quality lock and use it when the bike is not in use – even when in your garage (which should be locked too). Lock your bike to a securely fixed object (not to wooden fences or trees).

The city and the BTRA are promoting cycling, but in a large urban setting like Toronto, cooperation from everyone who drives, rides and walks is imperative for safe riding. Aggressive driving and aggressive riding are not tolerated. Instead, be an assertive rider: confident and comfortable with your ability to ride the routes you have chosen. Remember, you belong there, so ride like it!

Police recover many bikes during criminal investigations but have no way of returning them to the owner unless they are registered with the police. You can register your bike in under 10 minutes. Go to torontopolice.on.ca, “Inside the TPS”, scroll down to “bicycle registration” and fill in the blanks. I look forward to seeing many of you on our streets and in our bike lanes for another season of great riding.

 

Tags: , ,

Leave a Comment

Protected with IP Blacklist CloudIP Blacklist Cloud