Los Angeles City Council approved an ordinance Wednesday that protects bicyclists from harassment and aggressive drivers, report news sources.
The ordinance was approved unanimously, clearing the way for cyclists to be able seek legal recourse in civil courts for injuries, damages and harassment caused by belligerent motorists.
The new legislation, authored and championed by Councilman Bill Rosendahl, enables cyclists to file civil suits in the event that they are assaulted, harassed or otherwise harmed. Riders are eligible to receive the either $1000 or three times the cost of damages (which ever is greater), plus lawyer fees.
The groundbreaking legislation’s approval means that Los Angeles is the first government in the United States to provide a legal course of action for cyclists who have suffered harassment, endangered or injury while riding.
Cycling advocates hope that the passage of the ordinance will cue other governments to pass similar laws protecting riders.
Safety on the roads and the ability to enjoy outdoor activities like cycling depend on the participation of all stakeholders. As a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer, I urge bicyclists to take advantage of the protections available to them, and if need be, to pursue the legal options available when they have been the victims of harassment or dangerous behavior on the road.