Although Safe Passing Ordinances or Vulnerable Users Laws have been passed in many jurisdictions, enforcement has been difficult due to officers not having an accurate and automated method to measure and verify that a vehicle has performed a pass of a vulnerable user closer than allowed.
C3FT versions 2 and 3 were developed specifically to address this issue and provide enforcement agencies with the ability to perform accurate and easily defensible close pass measurements in collaboration with the officer’s situational judgement. The toolless single unit install allows officers to easily and quickly swap the device between bicycles as needed during pre-operation planning and assignments or even in the middle of an enhanced enforcement operation.
Typical enhanced enforcement operations consists of one or more plain clothed officers riding with C3FT devices on the target facility supported one to two squad cars. When a close pass occurs, the officer who registered a close pass, and verified it with the C3FT device, radios the information to the support vehicles which then initiate the stop. The pass distance display, facility design, rider position and behavior, make, model, and in most cases license plate are captured by the paired camera. The video footage can then be archived as evidence but can also be shown to the driver during the stop. If using a WiFi enabled camera, the recorded video can be streamed to a tablet so the driver can have a rider’s eye view on how the pass looked and felt.
Featuring a simplified interface, C3FT has been specifically designed to enable officers to utilize it with minimal training, enable passive monitoring with few distractions, and clear feedback and prompting during and after pass events. The large high brightness numerical is easy to read at a glance, even in direct sunlight and feedback mechanisms allow the officer to keep their eyes on the road, rather than the device, during an incident. Buzzer and LED indicators alert the user when a vehicle passes within the user specified distance threshold. C3FT v3 has been reconfigured to enable handsfree use so that controls are operable without requiring the user to lift his or her hand from the handlebars during and after a pass event alert has been registered.
Pairing the deployment of the C3FT device with an Education and Outreach campaign is a strategy enforcement agencies have pursued, typically in partnership with their local advocacy organizations, to adjust driver behavior beyond direct enforcement operations.
Chattanooga Police Officer Rob Simmons on how C3FT was an essential part of their success:
“The C3FT was essential to the Chattanooga Police Department’s success in reducing cyclist vs motorist crashes by 26% in just one year. The device was used for both enforcement of the TN 3 foot law as well as educational outreach in our community. As part of our Chattanooga Safe Bicycling Initiative, it played a central role in saving lives of our most vulnerable road users, our cyclists.The C3FT device provided a mensurable aspect to testimony in court and a newfound comprehension of perceived distance by violators.
Austin Police Officer Rheannon Cunningham on how C3FT has enhanced their ability to address safe passing issues:
“The Austin Police Department has been using (2) C3FT devices in plain clothes enforcement operations since August 2016. The use of these devices has greatly enhanced our ability to proactively enforce our city’s Vulnerable Road User (Safe Passing) Ordinance, as well as provide us with a quantifiable measurement tool for submitting evidence of violations in court. Additionally, C3FT has allowed us to regularly conduct live educational demonstrations to the media, public transportation officials, and other municipalities, in order to help raise public awareness surrounding the overall safety of bicyclists on the roadway.”