SAN JOSE (KCBS) – The law will soon be changing for people who walk or bike with their dogs on San Jose creek trails after the City Council voted unanimously to require shorter leashes in the wake of a fatal accident.

Dog walkers will soon be forced to keep their dogs on 6-foot leashes, which is 14 feet shorter than what is currently allowed.

KCBS’ Betsy Gebhart Reports:

The ordinance is in reaction to the September 2009 death of a woman who got entangled in a dog leash. Beverley Head, 62, was on her morning walk on the Los Alamitos Creek Trail when a mountain biker with two Siberian huskies on long leashes rode by her. She fell, bumped her head and died in the hospital the next day. The cyclist stayed to help her, but was never charged with a crime.

Head’s widower Bob is grateful to the council for the new law, but he said that the police should have charged the cyclist with a crime.

”They need to at least bring this guy in and talk to him, and cite him for something,” said Head.

The new law also requires dogs and their owners to keep to the right of the trail.

First-time violators get a warning, but there’s a $100 fine for second-time violations.

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Comments (6)
  1. skysky says:

    There’s no doubt that Mrs. Head’s death was a tragedy, one that clearly could have been avoided.
    As a dog owner I use the retractable leashes which can extend up to 20 ft, however, I never allow my dogs to be more than 2 feet from me while in close promiximity to people and even then, I take steps to ensure that my dogs do not make physical contact with people. It’s just common courtesy.