LAPD Chief Beck Backs Bicyclists Following Controversial Collision

After ours and other outlets reported that a woman who is alleged to have hit a bicyclist and left the scene only to sidestep possible charges, Los Angeles police Chief Charlie Beck told pro-bike activists this week that the department will do a better job of protecting cyclists' rights.

The Los Angeles Times reports that it is the first time the department has specifically addressed the issue of ensuring bike-riders get equal protection under state traffic laws. "We hear you, we know we need to do a better job for you," Beck told the 20 or so bicyclists from the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition who gathered at a city Transportation Committee meeting.

Riders' ire was raised after a city worker, Ed Magos, was struck Jan. 6 by a woman driving a Porsche who then allegedly left the scene despite his pleas for help. She later reported the accident at the Los Angeles Police Department's Rampart Division. Bike activists wanted the woman charged with leaving the scene of an accident, but the department declined to characterize the collision as a hit-and-run, and no chargers were ever filed.

Assistant Chief Earl Paysinger said he would meet with bike advocates and work out a training document on how to ensure bicyclists' rights on the road. All officers would then be trained on the topic.

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