September 9, 2016
Philadelphia has an abundant population of cyclists, but it stands out from the pack by having one of the largest female cycling communities – about 32 percent compared to the national 24 percent average. Unfortunately, with a larger female cycling community comes a larger amount of incidents involving cat calls and harassment, and it is forcing these women to break the law out of fear.
A voice for these women, who talked with a local Philadelphia newspaper, is Leigh Goldenberg. She was a model cyclist, stopping at red lights and cautiously rolling through stop signs like everyone should. Even after getting pregnant, so continued to cycle, slapping a baby on board sign to remind drivers to be cautious too. That’s when the harassment started. She can cite hundreds of incidents of drivers laying on their horns or shouting that she deserves to be hit for biking when pregnant. Even after giving birth and cycling her baby around in a cargo seat, the harassment continued. Now she, like many other women, are running red lights just to get away or to get a head start on their abusers.
However, it is not just pregnant women getting abused by drivers, it is all women. Several other cyclists state that they feel safe running through an empty intersection than coming to a stop and waiting for their attackers to roll up. After all, a cyclist taking off from a dead stop is much less efficient than a car doing the same thing.
While cycling laws have done wonders for the protection of cyclists, the fear still remains and it is this fear over taking caution that leads to horrific cycling accidents. If you have been the victim of abuse that led to a cycling accident, contact us today to see if you are entitled to legal action.