Protection of Cyclists Law Introduced In DC

On Tuesday, Councilmember Wells–along with Councilmembers Cheh, Evans, Alexander, Bowser, Graham, Michael Brown, Barry, & Chairman Kwame Brown–introduced the “Assault of Bicyclists Prevention Act of 2011.” This bill is based on WABA’s proposed anti-assault law, which is in turn based on a Los Angeles ordinance passed earlier this year.  The bill has been referred to the Committee on Environment, Public Works, and Transportation chaired by Councilmember Cheh. We appreciate the support of the many WABA members and local cyclists who have helped us get this far by sharing their stories and the efforts of the DC Bicycle Advisory Council to pass a unanimous resolution in support of the bill. The next step toward passage of this law will likely be a hearing before the Committee to discuss the bill and its merits.  WABA will, of course, testify at the hearing, but we also need individual cyclists to tell their stories and explain how this law will both send an important message about the rights of cyclists on the roadway and provide meaningful access to justice in real-life cases of assault and harassment. If you have been intentionally assaulted or harassed while biking in the Washington area, we need your story.  We have updated our crash tracker tool, which we have been using to gather data on crashes and enforcement procedures, to include information on assault and harassment so that we can gather the data we need to make a compelling case to the Committee, the DC Council, and eventually other legislative bodies. Please take a moment to tell us your story using the crash tracker, and forward this tool to your cycling friends, neighbors, and colleagues.