Wildwood MO becomes 8th Missouri city to adopt anti-harassment policy for bicyclists, pedestrians

Recently the City of Wildwood passed a comprehensive new anti-harassment policy protecting people who walk, bicycle, ride horses, use wheelchairs, and drive on the city's streets, sidewalks, trails, and other public spaces.

Anti-harassment policies are a top priority of MoBikeFed membership
Anti-harassment policies are a top priority of MoBikeFed membership

Wildwood becomes the eighth Missouri city to pass an anti-harassment policy. 

Harassment has been identified by MoBikeFed members and other people who walk and bicycle across Missouri that we have surveyed, as among their top issues. For that reason, it has become one of the top issues of our Legislative Platform.

Harassment is discouraging and frightening.  Fear of harassment and past episodes of harassment have discouraged many for bicycling, walking, and running in their communities as much as they would like to.

Wildwood's policy is an excellent example for other communities across Missouri to consider.  It takes a unique and productive approach in that it protects all users of the roads and trails equally--including drivers and occupants of motor vehicles.

Since Columbia passed Missouri's first anti-harassment policy in 2009, we have worked with our local and national allies to encourage adoption of anti-harassment policies in a number of cities across the state.  This helps build support and gives us the experience with these ordinances that we will need to build the case for a statewide anti-harassment policy--the end goal of our statewide Legislative Platform.

In Missouri, anti-harassment laws have been passed by:

With the new policy passed by Wildwood, over 1.15 million Missourians now live in a community protected by an anti-harassment ordinance.

To find out more about Missouri's anti-harassment policies--and find the information you need to work to bring an anti-harassment policy to your community--on our Anti-Harassment Campaign page.

Wildwood's Anti-Harassment Ordinance: What does it do?

Wildwood's ordinance protects people who walk, run, bicycle, ride a horse, operate a wheelchair, or are an occupant of a motor vehicle on roads, sidewalks, trails, and public property in the city.

It provides specific penalties for anyone who:

  • Throws an object or projectile, or operates a vehicle, for the purpose of frightening, disturbing, or injuring any person
  • Threatens to commit bodily harm or intimidates any person
  • Knowingly places a person in apprehension of immediate physical injury
  • Recklessly engages in conduct that creates risk of death or serious physical injury

Full text of Wildwood's Anti-Harassment Ordinance

Wildwood's ordinance was passed on September 28th, 2015. 

Full text of the ordinance:

WHEREAS, the City of Wildwood has developed an extensive, citywide system of trails and parks which are the result of many years of planning and implementation by the City and have become a valued asset among our residents; and

WHEREAS, the City of Wildwood includes an extensive system of public roadways maintained by the City, St. Louis County or the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission; and

WHEREAS, the City's trail and park system, roadways, sidewalks or other public property are utilized by a variety of users including those riding a bicycle, riding a horse, walking, running, or operating a wheelchair; and

WHEREAS, the City Council, upon the recommendation of the Board of Public Safety, wishes to amend Section 210.030 of the Wildwood Municipal Code to better protect the safety of all users of the trail and park system as well as on roadways, sidewalks or other public property.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT ORDAINED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF WILDWOOD, MISSOURI AS FOLLOWS:

Section One. Section 210.030 of the Wildwood Municipal Code is hereby amended with the addition of Subsection B, to read as follows:

B. A person commits the offense of harassment if that person:

1. Throws an object, directs a projectile, or operates a vehicle (whether motorized or not) at or in the direction of any person using the City's trails, roadways, sidewalks or other public property including those riding a bicycle, riding a horse, walking, running, or operating a wheelchair, for the purpose of frightening, disturbing, or injuring such person; or

2. Threatens to commit bodily harm or to intimidate any person using the City's trails, roadways, sidewalks or other public property including those riding a bicycle, riding a horse, walking, running, operating a wheelchair or occupying a motor vehicle, for the purpose of frightening or disturbing such person; or

3. Knowingly places a person using the City's trails, roadways, sidewalks or other public property, including those riding a bicycle, riding a horse, walking, running, operating a wheelchair or occupying a motor vehicle, in apprehension of immediate physical injury; or

4. Recklessly engages in conduct that creates risk of death or serious physical injury to a person using the City's trails, roadways, sidewalks or other public property including those riding a bicycle, riding a horse, walking, running, operating a wheelchair, or occupying a motor vehicle.

The penalty for harassment is set out in Section 100.140 of the city code:  A fine of up to $1000 and/or a imprisonment for up to 90 days.  In case of prosecution, the exact penalty would be set by the judge depending on the specifics of the case.

Visit MoBikeFed's Anti-harassment Campaign page for sample ordinance language and other helpful information for bringing an anti-harassment ordinance to your community.

 

Improving safety for all road users is one of the top goals of MoBikeFed's Vision for Bicycling and Walking in Missouri. Support laws that ban harassment of people who walk and bicycle is an important part of that effort, and a priority that has been rated very highly by our members and supporters.

Your ongoing membership and generous financial support helps turn our Vision into reality!

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