Monday, July 19, 2010
Stephen Box urges Mayor Villaraigosa to partner in making our streets safer for all users
Hollywood, CA - Stephen Box, candidate for City Council District 4, joins Angelenos in wishing Mayor Villaraigosa a speedy recovery from the injuries he sustained on Saturday evening as he rode his bike in the bike lane on Venice Boulevard. News reports varied in their version of the events but the LAPD report indicates that a taxi cab operator pulled out from a parking space without looking, causing the Mayor to lose control of his bike and resulting in a broken elbow.
"News of the unfortunate incident resonated throughout the community and cyclists cringed because this type of incident is all too common, unique in this instance only because of the stature of the victim. I'm pleased to hear that the Mayor was able to walk away and that he is healing after surgery." said Box.
California Vehicle Code 21804. (a) addresses this situation stating "The driver of any vehicle about to enter or cross a highway from any public or private property, or from an alley, shall yield the right-of-way to all traffic, as defined in Section 620, approaching on the highway close enough to constitute an immediate hazard, and shall continue to yield the right-of-way to that traffic until he or she can proceed with reasonable safety."
Initial reports that the motorist responsible for causing the mishap left the scene without exchanging information were incorrect. This stirred much discussion over the nature of a "fleeing the scene" violation. Motorists have long operated under the misconception that "no-contact" incidents are not their responsibility.
The LAPD's Chief Beck recently addressed the issue of "fleeing the scene" and issued an LAPD directive that clarified any incident resulting in injury, regardless of contact, is a reportable traffic collision and subject to California Vehicle Code 20001. (a) "The driver of a vehicle involved in an accident resulting in injury to a person, other than himself or herself, or in the death of a person shall immediately stop the vehicle at the scene of the accident and shall fulfill the requirements of Sections 20003 and 20004."
Through it all, Box expresses hope. "I'm hopeful that the Mayor will mend quickly and that he will soon be back on his bike and back on the streets. I also am hopeful that he will work with me to make our streets safer for all users."
Box believes that this unfortunate incident puts the spotlight on the real opportunities for advancing Education, Enforcement, and Encouragement as tools for supporting pedestrians, cyclists, mass transit passengers and motorists as they cooperate in getting to their respective destinations.
"Ultimately, the steps we take to make our streets safer for cyclists also benefit other road users along with the merchants and residents in the neighborhood."
Box says "Our streets are the new 'public space' and our ability to share that space is one of our greatest opportunities for revitalizing and redefining our communities."
For more information,
Contact: Stephen Box, Candidate for District 4