I attended a bicycle dialogue hosted by the Los Altos police at the Bicycle Outfitters on July 29. Officer Brooks, in answer to "what are the top three violations that you typically see that result in car bike incidents" said that "running red lights and running stop signs especially at T-intersections was a big thing... San Antonio and Foothill folks run the stop light there all the time because it’s a T-intersection." Another violation he mentioned was motorist violating bicycle right-of-way and bicycle lanes.
He brought a book of photos to show of bicycles after a collision. LAPD is looking to do more of these dialogues to get past just bicycle education for children and involve the larger bicycle community because "the majority of collisions in Los Altos involved adults." Officer Brooks suggested that other communities conduct the same dialogues with their Police Departments.
Other attendees wanted him to crack down on peloton rides in the afternoons and on weekends which they claim is intimidating to individual riders. They claimed that pelotons running stop signs generate hostile behavior from motorists toward individual cyclists. Brooks encouraged people to call in and leave a report of hostile motorists. Even though it is your word against his, he said, a history of malevolent behavior with the same person and vehicle description helped in case building when an incident can be investigated. He said the department keeps the called-in reports for ten years.
If you are involved in an incident, always call the police first and get a police report if you have been in a crash or subject to road rage. You can also report an incident to the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition by filling out an Incident Report so that we may track incidents and work with authorities to hold repeat offenders responsible.