May is national Bike Month and in Ohio, a series of fatal car versus bicycle accidents have drawn focus to some tragic statistics. Numbers taken from the most recent data compiled by the Ohio Department of Public Safety indicate that there were 1,928 accidents involving cars and bicycles throughout the state in 2012. Of that number, 18 bicyclists died as a result of those collisions, while 1,525 were injured.
A 21-year-old man died May 14 when the vehicle he was driving was struck by a truck. His grandfather was in the car with him. The young man was later pronounced dead when he arrived at the hospital, and his 79-year-old grandfather is still listed in critical condition at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.
A 29-year-old man recently struck a deal with prosecutors which now means that he will serve only 17 months for his role in a fatal 2013 car crash. Coshocton County deputies say an SUV driven by the defendant was travelling in excess of 60 mph after its brakes failed and it plowed into a Toyota Prius, striking in on its passenger side, killing a 68-year-old woman and seriously injuring her 72-year-old husband.
Last Thursday, Lockland, Ohio, police say that a woman had her 3-year-old boy in a vehicle with her when she had an accident and fled from officers in a booze-fueled attempt to avoid arrest. According to a Lockland city official, the incident began shortly after 5:30 p.m. when the 30-year-old woman headed north on I-75, speeding from the scene of an accident. Two Lockland police officers then spotted her vehicle and gave chase to the woman who was ironically attempting to get away in gray Ford Escape. Officers say that they pursued the woman for perhaps a mile before she encountered heavy traffic and eventually gave up. One officer speculated that a couple of tractor-trailer operators noticed the woman's erratic driving and boxed her in, allowing police to apprehend her.
It's official. On Wednesday, April 30, the Cincinnati City Council adopted Mayor John Cranley's $1.9 million bike plan by a 7-2 vote. The ordinance is designed to fund five major bike projects which hope to be up and running by this August. The lion's share of the funding will go toward establishing the Cincy Bike Share program, which is earmarked to receive $1.1 million. The remaining funds will then be divided up into four separate bike trails costing $200,000 each. The Mayor heralded the vote saying that it was a great day for bicyclists. He also claimed that the bike program would increase the quality of life for Cincinnati residents.