Proposed ordinance in city of L.A. aims to curb harassment of cyclists

The LADOT Bike Blog reports that a new anti-harassment ordinance sponsored by Councilmember Bill Rosendahl will go before the Los Angeles City Council within the next two weeks. The ordinance would add a section to the Municipal Code to explicitly prohibit physical assault and threats and attempts to assault, intimidate, distract, and injure bike riders.

The law would also give cyclists the ability to prosecute harassment cases in a civil proceeding in addition to the typical criminal avenues. If passed, penalties for those found in violation of the measure would be three times the actual damages or $1,000, whichever is greater, plus reasonable legal expenses and damages awarded by a jury or judge. Read the proposed language of the ordinance here.

The city of L.A. has also co-sponsored a three-foot passing rule in the state legislature, joining the city of Pasadena, the California Bicycle Coalition, the Sierra Club and other supporters.

SB 910 would require drivers to give cyclists a minimum of three feet of lateral space when passing from behind. That distance is currently the standard in 19 other states and is already recommended in the DMV’s Motor Vehicle Handbook.

SB 910 received the go-ahead in an 8-5 vote at an Assembly Transportation Committee meeting on June 29 and will reach the Assembly floor soon. The bill has already been passed by the state Senate. Click here to see the latest version of the bill being considered.

4 replies

  1. well this will be great to the people that ride and commute on bikes. i will have my fingers cross

  2. Much needed, promote cyclists in the city. Not only are they more likely to use public transit. But it helps the city in two ways: less traffic, & cleaner air. A win-win in a city that is going through major growing pains when it comes to the harassment of cyclists.

  3. I like the proposed rule but remind all that you still must permit vehicles room in lanes as well. I have noticed a poor behavior pattern emerging with cyclists. They seem to want to press the limits rather than exist and share. Both sides must observe a proper behaviors and permit the three foot clearances.

  4. So the city wants to give me a ticket for telling a bicyclist to: get out of the way, ride on the correct side of the street, not run a red light (and into me) or the stop sign?

    Yeah, I’ll pay that ticket. Gladly.