Just the other day we were thinking, What we really need in Los Angeles is another reason to sue people.

Of course, the L.A. City Council, not so good at balancing the budget or focusing on serious problems faced by our town, was quick to pass a bicyclist-harassment law that will let peddlers take motorists to court if they think they've been verbally harassed. The U.S. Supreme Court could have a field day with this, what with the First Amendment and all. Not that the L.A. City Council gives a shit about the legal costs of defending some a dumb-headed law. You're paying, not them.

Really. The law goes into effect today. We can just imagine the court testimony:

Bicyclist: He called me an asshole.

Driver: Your honor, I would like to submit that he is an asshole, and that free speech is protected, especially when one speaks the truth.

Most retarded law ever: It's a step too far.

The ordinance would allow a maligned cyclist to take a car driver to court and get three times the awarded damages and attorney's fees.

It also covers bicyclists who are threatened with physical violence.

So watch your words, drivers, lest you be dragged into court for telling that fixie rider he's a tool in need of tooth removal after he blasts a red light and cuts you off — even if you speak the truth.

Added: Interestingly, we recall that court rulings over the years have held that even swearing at police is protected speech. Guess the bicycle gets more respect than the badge at L.A. City Hall.


LA Weekly