The Epidemic of Cyclist Hit-And-Runs

The Los Angeles City Council recently passed an ordinance giving bicycle riders the chance to sue automobile drivers for threatening them, harassing them or trying to force them off the streets. Hit-and-runs are a big concern to cycling activists.

Cycling activist Don Ward recounts his hit-and-run story. About three years ago, he collided with a car while riding on Glendale Boulevard, near Sunset Boulevard, in Echo Park. The car took off, but Ward was able to get the car’s license plate number. He tweeted the information and posted it to the Midnight Ridazz message board, a group he helped found. With the help of someone in the California Highway Patrol, he was able to track down the driver, and eventually bring him to justice.

But he recognizes that the police, who seemed unwilling to help him at first, are overburdened and unable to help cyclists go after aggressive drivers. He says the laws need to be changed so that a hit-and-run incident carried a far more serious consequence. Listen to the interview below.