Missouri Town Law Protects Bicyclists

The City Council of Independence, Missouri took an unusual step last week and passed an ordinance banning harassment of bicyclists, pedestrians and wheelchair users.

Independence City Council unanimously approves anti-harrassment ordinance

Wouldn’t it be great to know your right to share the road with motorized vehicles was protected by an ordinance like this? Why not get it done?

4 replies
  1. Keri
    Keri says:

    Columbus, MO passed an anti-harassment ordinance a year or so ago. I was skeptical, but I exchanged emails with Pednet coordinator, Robert Johnson about it a few months ago, seems to have been positive. I think it’s less about the enforcement aspect than the message it sent to the community that bullying bicyclists wouldn’t be tolerated.

    I still have mixed feelings about laws that focus on a specific class of users. I prefer a broader anti-harassment stance that includes bullying drivers of cars (by tailgating). I had a guy tailgate, then buzz me and cut across my nose the other night because he didn’t like that I was going the speed limit…. in my car.

  2. Ed W
    Ed W says:

    I have to agree with the cynical comment above. Like the 3 feet passing laws that are so popular, this one too will have little practical effect. It’s primarily a toothless feel good measure because if a police officer doesn’t actually witness the event, it never happened.

  3. carfreepvd
    carfreepvd says:

    Although enforcement of anti-harassment and safe-passing laws is difficult, one thing to consider is the effect it can have on official vehicles. If a city bus passes you too close, call the transit authority. If the driver of a commercial vehicle harasses you, call the employer. Of course, you could have done this before, but with the new ordinances, at least you have the weight of the law on your side.

    Now I need to make follow up calls to: Peter Pan Bus Lines (passed too close), Statewide Plumbing and Heating (passed too close), and RI Public Transit (harassing comments). Wish me luck!

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