Bicycle safety advocates recently held the third annual Tampa Hillsborough Ride of Silence in memory of cyclists injured or killed in traffic accidents.
Organizers used statistics to highlight the importance of bicycle safety awareness. They said 173 cyclists were killed in Hillsborough County alone in the past 18 years. Injuries in the same time frame were much higher at 6,656. In 2012, 13 Hillsborough County cyclists were killed, making it the deadliest year here since 1996. That number attracted the attention of U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, who selected Tampa as the location for the first of two DOT Regional Bicycle Safety Summits. The summit was held on April 11.
The Ride of Silence was held on Wednesday, May 15, and started at 7 p.m. at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park. Cyclists were asked to ride the 11 miles in silence and to wear either a black or red armband. Red honored injured cyclists, and black honored those who died. The names of nine cyclists killed in Hillsborough County since the last Ride of Silence were read aloud before the start.
The first Ride of Silence was held in Dallas, Texas in honor of cyclist Larry Schwartz. Since then, the idea has spread to hundreds of communities around the world.
Deaths and injuries among Tampa-area cyclists and pedestrians are all too common. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in an auto accident of any kind, you need an experienced personal injury attorney to help get you the compensation you deserve.