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Bike Safety Proponents Make Their Case for New Legislation

The District Council heard testimony Wednesday on the Assault of Bicyclist Prevention Act.

Cyclists and bicycle advocates testified about the importance of stricter legal protections for bikers in the increasingly bike-heavy streets of the District. Council members Tommy Wells and Ward 2's Jack Evans, along with several other members, to protect cyclists against harassment.

TBD reports that cyclist Evan Wilder, whose bike helmet recorded his being struck by a pickup truck in August, testified at the hearing Wednesday. Wilder testified about the incident and his inability to bring the driver who hit him to justice. The U.S. attorney's office declined to take on the case as a criminal matter and Wilder testified that he could not afford to bring a civil case against the driver, according to TDB.

The bill is based on the Washington Area Bicyclist Association's (WABA) proposed anti-assault law.

Bill 19-475 reads:

"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, punitive damages, and attorney’s fees."

The Council will accept comments on Bill 19-475 until Nov. 16 at 5 p.m. (See PDF for details).

dante November 09, 2011 at 04:43 PM
That video was disturbing... The cyclist was 100% in the right (giving 3' to the parked cars), and the pickemup driver was 100% in the wrong. How the heck could police not ticket the pickemup driver for a) failure to yield and b) leaving the scene of an accident?

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