Effective enforcement of traffic law is critical to help reduce crash rates and injuries on the road. Unfortunately, when it
comes to bicycles, many New Jersey police officers are not familiar with how traffic law applies. “Title 39: A Bike’s Eye
View,” a pilot program funded by the New Jersey Department of Highway Traffic Safety, was created to address this gap
in knowledge by providing New Jersey police officers with a one day course on how the New Jersey vehicle code, Title 39,
applies to bicyclists. A secondary purpose of the training program was to teach officers about safe riding strategies and
the obstacles that bicyclists face on the road, as a way to explain why many bicyclists ride the way they do. The training
program consisted of a classroom session, parking lot drills, and a road ride. The training program was conducted six times
over two months and reached 48 police officers. Training was conducted by trainers certified by the League of American
Bicyclists, and the evaluation was conducted by the Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center (VTC).
To evaluate the success of the training program, VTC conducted pre- and post-training tests. Officers were asked about their
knowledge of the law immediately before and after the training program. This evaluation report discusses those results in
detail. In the pre-training questionnaire, the average number of questions answered correctly was thirteen out of twenty,
for an average score of 64%. In the post-training test, the average number of questions answered correctly increased to
16 and the average score increased to 79%. Of the twenty questions asked, officers showed improvement in eighteen. Five
questions showed an improvement of over 30% thanks to the training. Officers were also asked to grade the course and
the trainers using ten different questions. Using a ranking scale from 1 to 5, with 5 being the top score, the officers gave
an average rating of 4.8 to the different metrics.
Overall, “Title 39: A Bike’s Eye View” was successful in informing police officers on the intricacies of New Jersey laws as
they apply to bicyclists, and also in raising awareness of the challenges bicyclists face in sharing roads with drivers. The
report ends with a set of recommendations that can be used to make this successful pilot even better as the program is
expanded in 2016.
- Date:Mar 2017
- Labeled:Non NJDOT