Ohio law states bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as other vehicles on roadways.
The Ride of Silence will head through downtown Columbus Wednesday as a reminder to drivers to be aware of cyclists on the streets and a way for cyclists to honor those injured and killed.
Statistics from the Ohio Department of Public Safety show from January 2017 to January of this year 18 bicyclists were hit and killed in accidents and 1,237 were injured.
Christy Schoedinger said her father Dan was a retired Columbus lawyer and avid, seasoned, cyclist. Her family rode together across Vermont and she said he even rode across the U.S.
He was killed four years ago when a Montana driver cut in front of him and he crashed.
“It is hard, it is very hard and it didn’t need to happen,” she said.
Schoedinger said she is concerned the punishment for driver’s at fault in an accident with a cyclist needs to be strengthened.
“Even though the sheriff’s department said it was the driver’s fault for the cause of the accident, he did not receive a failure to yield or any other consequences what-so-ever,” Schoedinger said.
Warmer weather means a lot more bike riders on Ohio roads. A local sponsor of the Ride of Silence said more needs to be done to protect bicyclists.
“We need to see better infrastructure that supports all road users. And we need our judges to have a clearer understanding of what the law really says so we can see more appropriate sentencing,” said Catherine Gervis, Executive Director of Yay Bikes.
Schoedinger said she will be in the ride to honor her father and all those killed or injured. Gervis said Schoedinger will read a poem before Columbus’ Ride of Silence.