Enforcing Pedestrian and Bicycle Laws

Children cross a crosswalk monitored by a crossing guard.Traffic laws that regulate pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists, and other roadway users are important for ensuring a safe and healthy environment. Enforcement programs can be used to educate roadway users about the traffic laws that govern them; serve as periodic reminders to obey traffic rules; encourage safer behaviors; and monitor and protect public spaces. They can also help reinforce and support educational programs and messages.

For many communities, the first step for building an enforcement program lies in reviewing and modifying laws and policies affecting pedestrians and bicyclists. It is critical that effective procedures are in place for handling violators and for training law enforcement officers.

The term "enforcement" is not limited to law officers issuing tickets. Enforcement activities can involve a variety of "carrots and sticks" to encourage certain behaviors and deter others. Enforcement activities can be carried out by many different community groups, from parents and employers to neighborhood associations to law enforcement agencies. Working with law enforcement is a key component of a successful and lasting enforcement program.

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What Communities Can Do to Enforce Laws

What Police Can Do to Enforce the Laws

Reviewing and Modifying Pedestrian and Bicycle Laws

Working with Law Enforcement Officers

Developing Procedures to Handle Violators

Implementing Enforcement Campaigns

Aiming Enforcement at Bicyclists

Aiming Enforcement at Motorists

Media's Role in Enforcement

Enforcement Examples and Case Studies

Enforcement Resources and Research