It is far to often that cyclist get harassed one way or another out on the roadway; stuff thrown, horns honked, shoulders buzzed and thats just the passive stuff. Reporting harassment to law enforcement rarely if ever results in consequences for the driver, even if law enforcement manages to catch or question them.
If you were to get hit but not damaged or injured, law enforcement has little teeth to do anything legally or the culture of law enforcement is such that it precludes anything from being done, even if your killed.
AB-1371 the California Three Feet for Safety Act (effective September 16, 2014) states:
"A driver of a motor vehicle shall not overtake or pass a bicycle proceeding in the same direction on a highway at a distance of less than three feet between any part of the motor vehicle and any part of the bicycle or its operator."
This is all well and good intentioned and in the right direction but...
"A violation of subdivision (b), (c), or (d) is an infraction punishable by a fine of thirty-five dollars ($35)"
"If a collision occurs between a motor vehicle and a bicycle causing bodily injury to the operator of the bicycle, and the driver of the motor vehicle is found to be in violation of subdivision (b), (c), or (d), a two-hundred-twenty-dollar ($220) fine shall be imposed on that driver."
And you you hurt the cyclist your fine has a max of $250..... Sad.
...and if you die (listen below)
No Charges for Driver in Death of Bicyclist Amelie Le Moullac
Bryan Goebel | May 13, 2014
[soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/149383864" params="color=ff5500" width="100%" height="166" iframe="true" /]
A Vulnerable Road User Law (like below) from The League of American Bicyclist gives you an idea of what this law could look like, I would prefer to include harassment or intimidation to this law as well.
INFLICTION OF SERIOUS INJURY OR DEATH TO VULNERABLE ROAD USERS
Section 1: As used herein, the term “vulnerable road user” includes:
(a) a pedestrian, including those persons actually engaged in work upon a highway, or in work upon utility facilities along a highway, or engaged in the provision of emergency services within the right-of-way; or
(b) a person riding an animal; or
(c) a person lawfully operating any of the following on a public right-of-way, crosswalk, or shoulder of the highway:
1. A bicycle;
2. A farm tractor or similar vehicle designed primarily for farm use;
3. A skateboard;
4. Roller skates;
5. In-line skates;
6. A scooter;
7. A moped;
9. Horse-drawn carriage drivers;
10. a person on an electric personal assistive mobility device; or
11. a person in a wheelchair.
A person who operates a motor vehicle in a careless or distracted manner and causes serious physical injury or death to a vulnerable road user shall be guilty of infliction of serious physical injury or death to a vulnerable user.
A person issued a citation under this section shall be required to attend a hearing before a court of appropriate jurisdiction.
A person found to have committed an offense under this statute shall be required to
(a) have his or her driving privileged suspended for a period of no less than 6 months; and one or more of the following:
(b) pay a monetary penalty of not more than two thousand dollars; or
(c) serve a period of incarceration which may not exceed thirty days; or
(d) participate in a motor vehicle accident prevention course; or
(e) perform community service for a number of hours to be determined by the court, which may not exceed two hundred hours.
What would be ideal is if the Vulnerable Roadway User Law was combined with a Hit-&-Run Amber Alerts program. This would not fix everything and you will still have to prove your side so I recommend until the culture shifts out on the roadway you Ride with a POV Camera.