Remember on June 22 when I published that the city of Sunnyvale California passed a bicycle harassment ordinance?
The bill passed its second reading at tonight’s city council reading. Congratulations to the city BPAC and bike advocates for helping to make it happen.
The Sunnyvale measure was approved by the council passed on a 6-1 vote, with council member Jim Davis dissenting.
The Sunnyvale ordinance is modeled after a similar ordinance passed last year in Los Angeles, which makes it unlawful to intentionally force or attempt to force a bicyclist from a roadway with the intent to injure or distract the bicyclist simply because they are bicycling. Sunnyvale becomes the second Bay Area city with a bicycle harassment ordinance on the books. Berkeley passed a similar law last February.
The ordinance, which creates a right of civil action for cyclists who are harassed by force or distraction while riding in the City, empowers cyclists to seek treble damages and attorney’s fees in civil court in addition to standard criminal and civil protections. The new rule takes effect August 17, 2012.