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Monday, March 31, 2014

Undercover stings target drivers endangering bicyclists | KHOU

HOUSTON -- Next time you drive past a bicyclist on the streets of Houston, mind your manners. The bike rider just might be an undercover cop.
Houston police have adopted an unorthodox enforcement tactic, deploying plainclothes officers pedaling along streets to catch drivers disobeying a bicycle safety ordinance.
“What that simply means is that there are officers out there on bicycles, dressed as normal citizens, who are just riding around town,” says Mark Eisenman, an HPD assistant chief.
The enforcement effort that started three weeks ago focuses mainly on Houston’s Safe Passing Ordinance, which dictates that drivers should stay at least three feet away from bicyclists they pass on city streets. It also calls for cars and trucks to stay at least six feet behind bicycles they’re following.
Police say they’ve had problems enforcing the ordinance, mainly because it’s difficult for a patrol officer in a passing car to quickly determine whether a driver veers closer than the prescribed three feet.

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