Pedestrians, bicyclists, skateboarders, persons with disabilities and other vulnerable road users are disproportionately the victims of serious and even fatal collisions with vehicles. Too often, such vulnerable road users are also the subject of harassment by motorists who do not believe they should be on public roadways.
- 41% of all people killed in vehicle-involved collisions in the Los Angeles region are pedestrians, far above the national average of 11.4%.
- A growing number of cities across California and the United States have adopted such policies, including the Cities of Los Angeles, Berkeley, Sunnyvale, Austin (TX), St. Louis (MO) and the County of Sonoma.
A local ordinance should specifically prohibit the physical assault, injury, distraction, forcing off a street (including attempts) of vulnerable road users, and institute a suitable penalty, such as 3x actual damages or $1000, whichever is greater plus fees, plus possible "punitive damages" towards the offender.
By signing this petition, I am urging the City of Pasadena to adopt a civil ordinance to protect vulnerable road users.
For more information on this petition and the Pasadena Complete Streets Coalition, please visit http://www.pas-csc.org.
In Pasadena, 185 bicyclists and 169 pedestrians were involved in traffic collisions from January 2012 to September 2013.
In 2010, the state of California's Office of Traffic and Safety ranked Pasadena as having the highest number of total fatal and injured victims in traffic collisions out of 53 Californian cities with population sizes between 100 to 250 thousand.
Leading California cities such as Berkeley and Sunnyvale have passed ordinances and laws that institute increased penalties for injury, harassment or physical assault of vulnerable road users, or are in the process of doing so (Oakland). Many states such as Massachusetts, Vermont, and Oregon have also passed similar laws. In 2011, the City of Los Angeles passed an Cyclist Anti-Harassment Ordinance to specifically protect bicyclists from harassment. However, the City of Pasadena does not have similar provisions to protect our vulnerable road users.
We petition the City of Pasadena and its City Council to adopt a civil ordinance designed to specifically protect Vulnerable Road Users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, road workers, persons riding an animal, and skateboarders. The ordinance should specifically prohibit the physical assault, injury, distraction, forcing off a street (including attempts) of these vulnerable road users, and institute a suitable penalty, such as 3x actual damages or $1000, whichever is greater plus fees, plus possible "punitive damages" towards the offender. As a civil ordinance, the onus will be on the victim to provide evidence of harassment, injury, or assault, but if proven guilty the offender would be held responsible for their actions. This ordinance is similar to civil laws passed in other cities.
Adopting these protections for vulnerable road users is an important step towards making our streets more welcoming and safer for all road users.