02

Blog

The Bicycle Advocacy Win of 2016

In 2016, the Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) was a standout group in their unrelenting advocacy work to push forward the Motor Vehicle Collision Recovery Act protecting all vulnerable road users.

WABA Bicycle Advocacy Win of 2016

October 13, 2016, Mayor Bowser publicly signed the Motor Vehicle Collision Recovery Act. The act does away with the harsh doctrine of “Contributory Negligence” as it pertains to cyclists, pedestrians, and other non-motorized road users. Prior to the change in the law, if one of these vulnerable users was deemed even 1% at fault for a collision it could be a 100% bar to recovery. As one can imagine, it can be easy to find 1% of fault in a collision. Under the new law so long as a cyclist is less than 51% at fault for the collision it is possible to receive 100% of the recovery for injuries and damages.

The Motor Vehicle Collision Recovery Act essentially “fixed contrib”. “Fix contrib” was the rallying cry of the advocates that led the grassroots movement to change the law to a more equitable standard. Several council members, notably Mary Cheh, David Grosso, and Elissa Silverman, and advocates shepherded the Act through years of wrangling and delays. There was one standout group that continued advocating over the years for this act, the Washington Area Bicyclist Association. As Mayor Bowser pointed out in her remarks when signing the Act into Law, “WABA, you’re the leader of the pack. We need you to keep working hard, keep challenging us with great ideas, keep advocating for more funding, keep going out to neighborhoods and educating the public. We need your help with that. Because people won’t fight us if they are with us from the beginning. And you can help with that.” Read more on WABA.org

Why This is Our Advocacy Win of 2016

This win wasn’t simply about victory. We want to celebrate the years of unfailing work, and continued prioritization of this campaign over others in WABA’s strategic vision.  Other advocates could take notes on this campaign as everyone wants quick wins and successes to spread to their networks but the longterm vision is what kept this aspirational for the D.C. metro. For three years, WABA was committed to this campaign pushing it through City Council and to the Mayor, keeping their members and donors informed, and also consistently educating members on why this issue mattered to everyone beyond those in bicycle crashes.

From everyone at Bike Law, Thank You to WABA, your staff, volunteers, and members for the three years of persistence, and education to fix contributory negligence in D.C.!

Photo Credit: WABA

Comments

Bike Law Kickr Review
Feb 20, 2017

A 500-mile initial review of the Wahoo Kickr Indoor trainer, why we purchased it and who we think it is for.

Read More
Hazards of Biking with a GoPro or Garmin
Feb 15, 2017

Did you know that there are reasons for riding with and without cameras strapped to your handlebars and embedded within your tail lights?

Read More
Cycling Law Enforcement Training in Georgia
Feb 10, 2017

CBS Atlanta News This past November, Fulton County elected a new sheriff. (Yes, there’s literally a New Sheriff in Town.) During the run-up to the election, one of the candidates posted a tasteless video of John Wayne shooting guns and seemingly taking out cyclists. This created a huge backlash. One of the candidates for Sheriff, […]

Read More
2017 Moving People Forward Conference
Feb 08, 2017

This past Monday I attended the Moving People Forward conference in downtown Denver. The conference was hosted by Bicycle Colorado in lieu of their annual Colorado Bike Summit which has been moved to later in the year. Leaving the conference I had mixed emotions from my attendance. As I boarded the commuter rail back to my […]

Read More
Olga Cook Ghost Bike
Feb 02, 2017

The New Jersey man charged with felony manslaughter for striking and killing cyclist Olga Cook in the bike lane on the West Side Highway has agreed to plead guilty to all charges.

Read More
Bike Law - 2017 Fat Bike Nationals
Feb 01, 2017

A recap of the 2017 Fat Bike Nationals held in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Words from Bryan Waldman, and photo credit goes to Bike Law cyclocross racer, Wade Burch.

Read More
Cyclist Stop Sign
Jan 30, 2017

Bike Law fully supports the Colorado Safety Stop Law, Senate Bill 93, that was introduced by Senator Andy Kerr to rethink the, “Operation Of Bicycles Approaching Intersections”.

Read More
Bike Law USA Cycling Team
Jan 26, 2017

As a step toward increasing the safety of cycling and advocating for the rights of cyclists, we are pleased to announce a partnership between the Bike Law Network of Independent Bicycle Attorneys and USA Cycling.

Read More
Bike Law Michigan Mechanic Award
Jan 17, 2017

Bicycle mechanics are referred to as the unsung heroes of the peloton. They are also the unsung, and often unrecognized, heroes for local bike shops and most cyclists. Show some love for your mechanic by nominating him/her to be considered for the Bike Law Michigan Mechanic of the Year Award. 1 winner will receive a […]

Read More
Bike Law Manifesto 02
Jan 16, 2017

Our second principle is a gentle reminder of why we always turn to the bike.
“Nothing else allows us the independence, pleasure, and power to move so far, so fast, with so little effort.”

Read More
Michigan Needs Better Cycling Laws
Jan 13, 2017

After two years of a dramatic increase of bicyclists killed by car crashes in Michigan, there is a clear connection between these deaths and the lack of laws to protect cyclists.

Read More
DC Motor Vehicle Collision Recovery Act
Jan 12, 2017

In 2016, the Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) was a standout group in their unrelenting advocacy work to push forward the Motor Vehicle Collision Recovery Act protecting all vulnerable road users.

Read More
Load More