Today, D.C. Council passes first reading of the Motor Vehicle Collision Act of 2016.
July 12, 2016 @ 1 p.m:
Washington, D.C. just took a very big step forward in protecting the rights of vulnerable road users. Bike Law’s Timmy Finch was there. Today, Council approved the first reading of the Motor Vehicle Collision Recovery Act of 2016.
[Read more about the bill and its postponement last month.]
The bill removes the harsh doctrine of contributory negligence from crashes that involve non motor vehicle users of the roads. Under the doctrine of contributory negligence, if an injured cyclist / pedestrian was even 1% at fault for a collision there is zero recovery. Only three states (Alabama, North Carolina, and Maryland) cling to this outdated and unfair legal burden. All other states recognize some version of “comparative” negligence.
Proposed amendments to the bill were withdrawn yesterday, and the bill was moved to the consent agenda for today’s session.
When the time came for the reading and initial vote, affairs moved very quickly.
The bill along with all of the items on the modified consent agenda were passed by unanimous consent of the council.
There will still be a final vote on the bill, likely in the Fall.
Of note, Councilmember Grosso was sporting a green bicycle pin on his lapel.
We will be back for the final vote, and will report then. So far, so good!
Bike Law founder and bicycle crash lawyer Peter Wilborn has raced, toured, commuted, and ridden his bike daily for fun. In 1998, Peter had a bike tragedy in his own family, realized firsthand the need for lawyers who understand cycling, and devoted his law practice to Bike Law.