Urban Velo

Austin PD Leads With Safe Passing PSA

Shortly after the passage of Austin’s Vulnerable Road User Ordinance, the Austin Police Department released this video to demonstrate how to pass safely. In addition to the agency’s Safe Biking sting, the PSA is a complimentary way in which the Austin PD has taken steps to apply its local safe passing law and acknowledge that it’s effectiveness lies in its enforcement.

“Vulnerable Road User Ordinance violations are very hard to observe and enforce,” said Austin Police Commander Fred Fletcher. “It is our hypothesis that most VRUO violations occur because motor vehicle operators are simply unaware of how dangerous it is – and how it feels – for a vehicle to pass closely to a vulnerable road user.”

Austin Police Chief Juan Acevedo clarifies in the following video that drivers will not be cited for crossing the double yellow line in order to pass safely. Drivers will, however, be found at fault if involved in a head-on collision while crossing the double yellow in an attempt to pass.

About Krista Carlson

A regular contributor to the print edition of Urban Velo, Krista Carlson is a cyclist obsessed with bike polo, baking, pickles, and all things bike-y. She is a native Angeleno and is madly in love with the city and everything that makes it the beautiful, crazy place that it is.

View all posts by Krista Carlson →


  1. Bryan Kraham @ BSX AthleticsJanuary 16, 2014 at 9:35 am

    Well done Austin! Now if the rest of the state can get on board.

  2. Austin Demonstrates How to Do Safe Passing Laws Right | Streetsblog.netJanuary 16, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    [...] Carlson at Urban Velo reports that city law enforcement officials remain vigilant, even producing the above [...]

  3. PhilJanuary 16, 2014 at 9:19 pm

    Way to go Austin! One small correction to your text, though. It’s Art Acevedo. Juan Acevedo is a baseball player.

  4. DougJanuary 18, 2014 at 1:03 pm

    OMG, this is the best cycling news story I’ve seen in decades. I started applauding at the end of the PSA. Even though it’s not in my city, I hope this spreads. I’ve been cycling for 40 years and have never felt my safety was a consideration of the vast number of other users out there. For a city like Austin to make an ordinance like this makes me speechless and brings tears to my eyes. Way to go Austin!!

  5. Texas Bicycling Blog and News Roundup January 16th | BikeRacing411.comJanuary 20, 2014 at 5:52 pm

    [...] Austin PD Leads With Safe Passing PSAurbanvelo.org [...]

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