Assaulted Bicyclist Tells His Story to DC Council

By Peter DePaolis

How concerned are DC-area bicyclists about their safety on the streets? They are concerned enough that they introduced the Assault of Bicyclist Prevention Act of 2011 to the Washington, D.C. Council. As part of their efforts to raise awareness of what they deal with on DC streets, a bicycle commuter testified before the Council about one experience this past summer while biking to work.

As reported at, the man mounted a video camera to his helmet as he biked down Rhode Island Avenue. A man in a pickup truck pulled up next to him, shouted an expletive at him, and told the biker to move to the right. The driver then slammed the side of his pickup into the bicyclist. The biker crashed to the ground, cracking his helmet on the pavement.

The video showed that the pickup was driving in the bike lane. Incidents like this led the Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) to introduce legislation to protect them from aggressive drivers. The WABA hopes that the law will allow civil penalties, punitive damages, and attorney’s fees for bicyclists intentionally injured by drivers. One bicyclist told the Council that some drivers are dangerous and create pedestrian accidents.

What has been your experience as a bicyclist on DC’s streets? Contact our office today.

Koonz, McKenney, Johnson & DePaolis L.L.P.

Maryland, Washington, D.C., and Virginia Injury Attorneys

Approved by attorney Roger Johnson

About the Author
Peter DePaolis joined the firm in 1980 and has since represented a large number of individuals involved in automobile collisions, truck accidents, bus crashes, defective products, and medical malpractice cases. A significant portion of Mr. DePaolis’ practice is devoted to working on behalf of people suffering from asbestosis, mesothelioma, and other asbestos-related cancers. He has led his firm’s fight against the asbestos industry and has recovered over $30 million in damages for asbestos victims and their families.