Anti-harassment ordinance could bring stiffer penalties to Collier drivers

Author: Jennifer Jones

COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. – Drivers could soon face tougher consequences for harassing pedestrians, cyclists and runners. They would be charged with a misdemeanor if the county passes the anti-harassment ordinance.

“Something’s got to happen.” Mitch Norgart is an avid runner and bike rider who said he’s been harassed countless times by drivers in the past 38 years.

His most recent encounter was just last week. “A motorist behind me and another cyclist were honking incessantly.”

Under a proposed ordinance, that type of behavior would become a misdemeanor.

“I’m looking to protect the cyclists, the runners, the pedestrians, those who use wheelchairs, against vehicles that are not respecting those individuals rights to use the road safely.” Commissioner Georgia Hiller tells WINK News people on the road deserve to have laws on their side to ensure drivers don’t abuse them.

The ordinance would punish drivers who do things like throw items, honk the horn, scream or threaten walkers, runners, or bike riders.

Hiller said she hopes drivers will think twice about sharing the road.

“I think it’s a great idea” said Norgart. “It’s something that needs to happen in order to progress the relationship between motorists and runners, pedestrians and cyclists.”

Under the new proposal, drivers could face a $500 fine and 60 days in jail.

The board of commissioners will talk about the ordinance at their meeting on Tuesday.

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