Successful Effort in Midland County
LMB encourages law enforcement agencies across Michigan to follow Midand's lead and take the simple message of Same Roads, Same Rights, Same Rules to heart. Enforcing safe roadway behavior for both drivers and bicyclists is essential. Placing these bumper stickers on law enforcement vehicles is a simple reminder to the officers and roadway users about sharing the road and our equal rights and responsibilities as roadway users.
The following is an email account from LMB member Joyce Halstead on how she and the Tri City Cyclists were successful in getting "Same Roads, Same Rights, Same Rules" bumper stickers placed on Midland County sheriff vehicles.
I would have to ask the sheriff for sure, but my thought is that the relationship I had established with him over several years probably was a big factor. He was running for office at the same time as our neighborhood was fighting the County Commissioners about siting a new jail in our rural neighborhood. We were quite organized, had meetings, had a web site, attended many Commission meetings at which the sheriff was also present. He came to one of our meetings and asked for our support at election time. I was always supportive of his campaign and even made a donation. We ran across each other occasionally at county fair booths, restaurants, meetings, etc. , and I always made it a point to speak to him.
In the spring of 2009, members of the local bike club were having some problems with irate drivers on a couple of the evening rides and a couple of riders crashed avoiding a rear end collision with the car. The club arranged a meeting with the sheriff to talk about the problem and about 50 club members attended. The sheriff was supportive of our right to the road and expressed admiration of what we are doing. As the comments went back and forth, I had an 'epiphany', described the stickers and asked the sheriff if he would put the stickers on the patrol cars. He immediately said he would. It did take most of the summer, three trips to the Law Enforcement Center and two sets of stickers, but eventually they were put on the cars.
I really don't have any sage advice or magic formula. I just happened to be in the right place at the right time and had previously established a rapport with the sheriff. Perhaps that's the key.