Oakland law would let cyclists, pedestrians sue abusive drivers

By Matthew Artz Oakland Tribune

OAKLAND -- Abusive drivers who take aim at cyclists and pedestrians might soon face retribution far more severe than a middle finger.

Councilwoman Libby Schaaf introduced legislation Tuesday that would make Oakland the nation's fourth city to allow aggrieved cyclists and pedestrians to take their vehicular tormentors to civil court. If victorious, Oakland law would let cyclists, pedestrians sue abusive driversplaintiffs would be entitled to at least $1,000 and attorneys fees.

Bicycle advocates and Schaaf, who is running for mayor, acknowledged that cyclists are not always docile victims on the streets of Oakland. But they said the additional protections were warranted because both cyclists and pedestrians are far more vulnerable to serious injury.

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