The Sebastopol City Council in Sonoma County, California will be voting on an ordinance to protect pedestrians and cyclists from threatening motorists who intentionally harass them, according to PressDemocract.com. The hearing, held on December 18, informed the council of the proposed legislation and why it is necessary to protect cyclists and pedestrians.
After several highly-publicized fatal pedestrian accidents and bicycle accidents this summer, the Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition urged legislators to take action to prevent future incidents. The coalition released a report showing instances of drivers intentionally swerving at pedestrians and cyclists, and in some cases threatening them, throwing objects at them and even shooting at them.
“The reason we need it is, from a bicycling perspective it is usually a blissful experience to ride in Sonoma County, but sometimes people are harassed and it happens enough and it is dangerous enough that we feel it is important to take action,” says Sandra Lupien, the coalition’s outreach director.
The proposed legislation defines harassment towards cyclists, pedestrians and even skateboarders. It will give victims of accidents more leverage and sets up a procedure for them to file lawsuits against aggressive and negligent motorists.
“Harassing people is already illegal, and if there were police resources available to deal with it, this ordinance wouldn’t be necessary, or if people behaved properly,” said Mayor Michael Kyes. “It should get people to pay a little more attention.”
It is good to see a community taking immediate action for such a serious problem. If you or a loved one has been injured in a bicycle or pedestrian accident, please contact our firm for a free consultation.
Dudek Law Firm, APC—San Diego accident lawyer.