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D.C. Council Member Calls For Better Traffic-Law Enforcement

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D.C. Council Member Phil Mendelson says he will call a hearing for better traffic law enforcement, as the number of bicyclists sharing the road grows.
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D.C. Council Member Phil Mendelson says he will call a hearing for better traffic law enforcement, as the number of bicyclists sharing the road grows.

With it's new bike-sharing program and expanded bike lanes, Washington is quickly earning a reputation as a city that supports two-wheel transportation. But with more people sharing the roads, one lawmaker says he's concerned about how traffic laws are being enforced.

D.C. Council Member Phil Mendelson says he's received a number of complaints in recent weeks from pedestrian and bicycle advocacy groups about traffic incidents and collisions and how police enforce the laws.

Mendelson highlights the case involving Alice Swanson, a bicyclist who was struck and killed by a garbage truck in Dupont Circle in 2008.

Mendelson says the police exonerated the driver, despite what he says was a bad driving record. Mendelson says he doesn't think the laws need to change, just how they're applied.

"It's already illegal to hit somebody, so we can't pass a second law to make it more illegal to hit somebody," Mendelson says. "Instead, it comes down to what's going on with enforcement."

Mendelson, who oversees public safety on the council, says he will hold a hearing in the near future to discuss these issues.

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