Tag Archive: bike crashes

Friday Musings: “It must have been your fault. C’mon. You are a biker.”

Here’s one we hope will get the conversation started on this lovely Friday — a tale of a wronged cyclist forced to defend himself with video footage available all along to law enforcement folks:

Getting in a crash is one of the scariest things that can happen to a cyclist. Even worse is when police assume that bicyclists are always at fault, even if they’ve got evidence to the contrary.

Read the full account by visiting the Greater Greater Washington website.

We’ve long talked about inaccurate reporting (by the media AND by law enforcement) in bicycle/motor vehicle collisions, and we’ve also discussed recording your every move with personal camcorders. It’s a shame that we have to resort to being our own detectives after a crash…but it’s been made clear time and time again that the law is not often on our side, even when we’re in the right.

Happily, in the story above, the author successfully defended his actions on the road.

Do you have any similar stories to share? Any thoughts on additional steps we can take to protect/defend ourselves on the streets of our cities? We’d love to hear them in the comments below.

Tampa’s Ride of Silence, May 16th at 6:30PM

For the second year in a row, Tampa will be holding a “Ride of Silence” on May 16th. It’s been a rough year already for Tampa-area cyclists…on track to be the worst, cycling-fatality wise, in recent years. Take a look at the press release below:

WHERE: Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park in downtown Tampa
WHEN: Wednesday, May 16th, 6:30 pm
DISTANCE: 11.1 miles

TAMPA, FL (May 10, 2012) — On Wednesday, May 16th, cyclists will take to the streets of Tampa as part of
the worldwide 10th annual Ride of Silence. They’ll ride to remember cyclists who have been killed and injured in
traffic crashes and to raise public awareness about bicycle safety. The ride comes at a very deadly time. From
Dec. 24, 2011 through April 30, 2012 (just 129 days), nine cyclists were killed in crashes in Hillsborough County
— an average of one every 14 days! Seven cyclists were killed in just the first four months of this year, a rate
that could make 2012 the county’s deadliest year for cyclists on record.

The Tampa Ride of Silence will start from Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park (600 N. Ashley Dr., 33602) at 7 pm,
but riders should arrive by 6:30. There is no entry fee to participate. Cyclists are asked to ride silently without
talking. They are also asked to wear armbands — black for cyclists who were killed in traffic crashes or red for
injured cyclists. All riders must wear bike helmets. And since the ride may continue past sunset, bicycles
should be equipped with head lights and tail lights.

Route Map:
Before the ride, the names of these Hillsborough cyclists, killed since the 2011 Ride of Silence, will be read aloud:
1. Morris Taylor, 14
2. Rusty Keen, 40
3. Richard Boone, 50
4. Anthony Penta, 22
5. Jesus Dias, 20
6. Jessy Smith, 29
7. Jessica Wortman, 18
8. Michael Murrell, 41
9. Humberto Saez, 43
10. Kenneth Hamlin, 50
11. Ivan Miller, 78
12. David Jenner, 56

Many of the Hillsborough cyclists killed in recent months were riding at night without lights. In response, on
March 14th, the Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC) of the Hillsborough County Metropolitan
Planning Organization (MPO) voted to create a special escrow account for donations to buy bike lights, batteries,
reflective vests, and educational materials for at-risk cyclists. In early April, the full MPO board and the
Hillsborough County Commission approved the creation of this Bicycle Safety Outreach Fund. The County
Commission also voted to allocate $3,000 for the fund. An MPO representative will be at Curtis Hixon Park
before the ride to accept donations for the fund. Even a few dollars could help save a life, but donations are not
required to participate in the ride.

The ride will pass Tampa Police Department headquarters, the three county courthouses, the County Center
building, and Tampa City Hall to send a message to our elected officials, our law enforcement agencies, and our
court system that the local cycling community demands safer roads not only for cyclists but for everyone. The
ride will then go past the ghost bike for Admiral LeRoy Collins Jr. at the corner of Hyde Park Ave. and Brorein
St., the ghost bike for Diane Vega at the corner of Himes Ave. and Spruce St., and the site on Dr. Martin Luther
King Blvd. near Tampania Ave. where Peiter Vanvliet was killed on March 19, 2011, then return to the park.

The first Ride of Silence was organized in Dallas, Texas, by Chris Phelan in May 2003 after endurance cyclist
Larry Schwartz was killed by the mirror of a passing bus. Since then the idea has spread around the world with
hundreds of cities and towns holding local rides each year.
The Ride of Silence web site:
Florida Ride of Silence Locations:
All participants must sign a Ride of Silence release of liability and agree to absolve and hold harmless the Ride
of Silence organization and all organizers, ride leaders, and promoters of this event from and against any
blame or liability for any injury, misadventure, harm, loss, inconvenience, or damage suffered or sustained as a
result of participation in the Ride of Silence. (For participants younger than 18, a parent or guardian must sign
the release of liability.)
Detailed list of 26 cyclists who were killed in Hillsborough County traffic crashes from Jan. 1, 2010 through
April 30, 2012:

Reported number of cyclists killed in traffic crashes, 1994-2011: 161 (Average: 9/year)
Reported number of cyclists injured in traffic crashes, 1994-2010: 6,656 (Average: 392/year)

Reported number of cyclists killed in traffic crashes, 1994-2010: 1,862 (Average: 110/year)
Reported number of cyclists injured in traffic crashes, 1994-2010: 85,989 (Average: 5,058/year)
Source for 1994-2010 statistics: Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles