A week ago, the Los Angeles (CA) City Council passed a pioneering new law making it a crime for drivers to threaten cyclists verbally or physically, and allows victims of harassment to sue in civil court without waiting for the city to press criminal charges.
While the main purpose of the law is to try to protect cyclists from dangerous or aggressive drivers, the verbal threat part intrigues me. Could someone who is sexually harassed in a threatening way be able to sue under the law? It seems plausible.
This is not the first time a broader law meant to protect folks outside of cars from those inside could potentially give people who are street harassed legal recourse should they choose to take it. Last year in Independence, Missouri, lawmakers passed an ordinance making it illegal for people in cars to harass pedestrians and cyclists.
I’m interested to see what happens and how people use the new Los Angeles law.
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