Law enforcement officers—at least in California—just can’t seem to be bothered with actually learning the laws they are charged with enforcing. Consider the Los Angeles Police Department, which has been enforcing a non-existent law against perplexed USC students. Or the California Highway Patrol officer who didn’t see any problem with a driver who turned into a cyclist’s path—yes, the cyclist was riding on the sidewalk, contrary to local law, but the driver also violated the law by failing to look before turning. Then there’s the Redondo Beach Police Department, which has been enforcing a law against riding two abreast. The only problem is, there is no law against riding two abreast.
And now there’s CHP Officer Al Perez, who has his own newspaper column, “Ask a Cop.” The problem with asking this particular cop about the law is he just doesn’t know what the law is. In his recent column, Cyclists in crosswalks aren’t pedestrians, Officer Perez recounts an incident he observed while off-duty: