An anti-harassment rule strongly promoted over the past six months by the Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition (SCBC) has received unanimous approval from the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors earlier today, according to the Santa Rosa Press Democrat.
The resolution means the county will move forward on introducing an ordinance on Tuesday, March 19 that allows cyclists and pedestrians to file civil suit against motorists who intentionally harass them in unincorporated areas of Sonoma County because “it is against the public policy of the County of Sonoma to permit harassment due to an individual’s status as a pedestrian and/or a person riding a bicycle.”
Unlike similar laws passed in the cities of Los Angeles, Berkeley, Sunnyvale, and the Sonoma County city of Sebastopol, the proposed county ordinance has no cap on allowed damages. Although nobody has reportedly filed suit using the law in those cities, advocates believe knowledge of this law has encouraged motorists to drive a little more cafefully around cyclists in those cities.
The SCBC began campaigning heavily for anti-harassment laws after a crazy man in a car chased a cyclist off of the roadway and across a golf course last year.
The county has not yet approved the ordinance, they’ve only put it on a fast track for potential adoption. The real vote comes next week. Watch The Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition for updates.