Traffic laws and enforcement get most hurried drivers to obey stoplights and stop signs. Kansas Citians should expect the same lawful behavior to result from a proposal to ban the harassment of bicyclists, pedestrians and wheelchair operators.
It’s not an issue to be taken lightly. The proposed ordinance before the Kansas City Council would promote a healthy, safe, share-the-road environment for people engaged in the slower forms of commuting or exercise.
They shouldn’t have to put up with drive-by offenses from motorists such as threats, catcalls, wolf-whistles, thrown objects and horn honking. But it happens.
Smartphones with recording capabilities would provide victims with evidence they’d need to take offenders to court. Under the ordinance, a person convicted would face a fine of up to $500 and up to six months in jail.
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Kansas City would join other municipalities such as Columbia, Mo., and St. Louis in making threatening and dangerous acts illegal. BikeWalkKC sought the new law.
A national group, Stop Street Harassment, found in a study this year that 65 percent of American women reported being victims of harassment or worse on U.S. streets compared to a quarter of men.
This ordinance would make Kansas City a more polite, less threatening and safer place for everyone.