In Los Angeles, where there have been several recent high-profile incidents, the city council is examining proposals for a new law that would make harassment of cyclists a civil offense. The council met last week with attorneys and began drawing up outlines for the ordinance, partly in response to the criminal proceedings involving Dr Christopher Thompson. Thompson faces charges of assault with a deadly weapon after he purposefully hit two cyclists with his car. The LA doctor is also accused of mayhem and reckless driving.
The council will have the chance to consider the new proposal in as little as two months, giving Los Angeles area cyclists broad new rights as road-users. Specifically, the ordinance would provide cyclists with the ability to easily sue drivers whom they accuse of reckless endangerment. Plaintiffs could then collect a cash settlement. The city council formally adopted the proposal, subject to reconsideration, on November 10th.