After a deadly bicycle accident, San Jose is exploring a law to make the city the first in California – and possibly the country – to address the issue of bicyclists riding with leashed dogs.
Councilwoman Nancy Pyle is convening a meeting Wednesday night to gauge public opinion on whether the city should revise current leash laws in some way to prevent what happened to Beverly Head on Sept. 16. The retired 62-year-old San Jose phlebotomist died as a result of a head injury after being tangled up in a dog leash while walking along a popular South San Jose trail. The dog in question was one of two pets being pulled alongside a bicyclist.
Head’s husband would like to prohibit dogs leashed to bicycles on all pathways, but Jon Cicirelli, deputy director of the city’s Animal Care and Services, said his first thought is not to ban bicyclists from riding with their pets, per se. Instead, he says it might be better to beef up the current leash laws mandating that owners must not only keep their dog under control, but extend that responsibility to the leash, too.
As bicycle injury lawyers we are always distressed to hear of accidents involving bicyclists. Even though the bicyclist in question did not break any laws, we all have a duty to pedestrians and bicyclists alike. Please bike safely.