Briefing Room: please make your criticisms of this column courteous

Logo courtesy of Seal Beach PD

Dear Capt. Nicholas,

Thanks for reprinting my letter about bike and car safety in your column this week.  A neighbor just told me she read your answer and was disappointed that you said nothing about accountability for drivers and bike-riders who scoff at rules of the road.  Another friend told me that a few electric bikers were weaving from the sidewalk onto Ocean while she was driving along that road, distracting and upsetting her.  Will it a take an accident to get serious about responsibilities?

You say you “hate to think that people are being discourteous when riding electric bikes.” So what can be done to make them and Seal Beach safer?  I stand by my suggestion to educate and register the bike owners and rethought the pinney idea – how about putting their registry number, big and bold, on their helmets?  There needs to be some way to identify the bikers who will then know they’re going to be held responsible for their actions.  I saw nothing helpful in your reply—lots of column space without offering some solutions.  Reiterating the state’s classification of electric bikes and repeating that everyone using the roadway is called upon to obey the rules is really not what I had hoped to see.

Of course, we can’t expect to see officers at every intersection, but we can empower the public to have a means of identifying the wrongdoers. Otherwise, a call that can’t specify the bike rider involved in hazardous actions is nothing but another statistic.  Parents should be involved as well as the kids – the youngsters can have fun while being safe and respectful, or else they’ll be free to make up their own rules, to our detriment.

Sincerely, Lois

Hello Lois,

Thanks for your message.

We have corresponded several times, and I have answered your questions to the best of my ability.  I am disappointed that you say, “I saw nothing helpful in your reply —lots of column space without offering some solutions.”

It is not the goal of this weekly article to waste column space.  It takes a lot of our (not just my) time to complete this weekly column so that the community is informed.

The fact of the matter is that we take enforcement actions on those who drive cars, and ride bicycles (electric or otherwise).  Our goal is always to educate the community first, then take enforcement action when necessary.  This is exactly what the community expects of their police department.

Additionally, we are not sitting idle.  Please read this article which clearly describes the efforts the City is taking to help keep our roads safe: (published in this very paper on May 11).

You can also watch the City Council presentation conducted by my partner, Captain Michael Ezroj, here:

Lois, I am disheartened when community members are so quick to criticize, but I will not shy away from criticism either.  I just ask that your criticism is constructive, not discourteous.

So, with that in mind, keep your questions coming Seal Beach!  Email us at today!