Buena Park Police not told of 3-foot bike buffer

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There is no evidence Buena Park police officers have been briefed of the Sept. 16 enactment of the 3-foot bicycle safety buffer zone.

The question about Buena Park Police training in bicycle law arose after an incident on Crescent in which the Veggie Biker believes a car came much closer than three-feet to him. A Buena Park police car was driving just behind and to the left of the silver compact sedan during the incident.

A violation of AB1371 would be punishable by fines starting at $35. If unsafe passing results in a crash that injures the cyclist, the driver could face a $220 fine.

Corporal Andy Luong, public information officer and police training officer said he is aware of the law. However, he has sent out no information about the new law as part of his training officer duties. He said, in a telephone interview Monday afternoon, if he receives such information from the police chief, he will disburse it.

Luong said he was unaware of any modification to the California bicycle laws by the Buena Park City Council. Fullerton has a law banning bicycles on downtown sidewalks, for example.

The police enforce the California traffic code as it applies to bicycles, Luong said. He cited riding on the wrong side of the street and not wearing a helmet by people under 18 years of age as common tickets.

The city of Buena Park, it appears when one consults the Orange County Transportation Authority Map, has never accommodated bicycle commuters in the city. There are no bicycle lanes and no share-the-road streets shown on the map. Cities surrounding Buena Park show large networks of such accommodations.

Riding across Buena Park at twilight some days is a series of missed opportunities to die.

Yet there is no training even as bicycle commuting becomes more common. Luong said, “No special training on bikes I’m aware of.”


My Commute: Yes, bicycles do get tickets


The Fullerton, CA, police give bicyclists tickets. This is a good thing.

Commuting home last evening, The Veggie Biker “took the lane” by giving a hand-signal and then swinging across traffic into the left-hand-turn lane on Valencia and stopping at the four-way stop. A policeman was approaching toward him from the other direction. A fixie bike was rolling rapidly just ahead of the police car.

The police car was stopping, as were the cars on the cross street. I made my left-hand turn signal and started to turn.

The fixie blew through the stop sign at about 20 miles per hour and came directly across my path. The kid correctly calculated he could squeeze in front of me, so there was no wreck. But, apparently, without a rear-view mirror, he could know the cop was right behind him.

When I was safely across, the police car accelerated from the stop sign and turned on its lights and pulled the fixie over.

More tickets need to be given to bicyclists who blow through stop signs and lights, ride on the wrong side of the street, and text while riding. Twice, this veggie biker has almost been hit by bicyclists riding on the wrong side of of the street while texting.

Bicyclists who do not obey the law confuse car drivers who are afraid of hitting a biker, or who think bikes should be forced onto the sidewalk. Badly-behaved bikers make the streets unsafe for law-biding bicyclists.

More tickets, please, sir!