Council member Tommy Wells, supported by council members Mary Cheh, Jack Evans, Yvette Alexander, Muriel Bowser, Jim Graham, Michael Brown, Marion Barry, and Chairman Kwame Brown co-introduced new legislation to offer greater protection for cyclists. The Assault of Bicyclists Prevention Act of 2011 is based on WABA’s proposed anti-assault law.
The bill states:
"To create a civil cause of action for a person who while riding a bicycle is the victim of an intentional assault, injury, or harassment or the threat of assault, injury, or harassment, and to provide for civil penalties,d punitive damages, and attorney’s fees."
It has been referred to the Council’s committee on public safety and the judiciary.
“With our progress on projects like bike lanes and bike sharing, we find ourselves with an increasing number of cyclists on the roadway,” said Evans in a prepared statement. “This important law would give cyclists a way to defend themselves in court against those who choose to harass and possibly injure them.”
Note: This article has been updated to reflect the correct name of the bill, which is the Assault of Bicyclists Prevention Act of 2011, not the Anti-Cyclist Harassment Bill.