Lead by Ken Sherman, cyclists will ride to the Iowa Capitol on Wednesday, April 15 at 5:30 PM in opposition to the violent crashes and road rage incidents that have occurred this spring. The ride willbegin in the parking lot of Rasmussen's Bike Shop at 301 Grand Ave in West Des Moines.
The ride follows a crash near Winterset, on Saturday, April 11, where the driver of a truck pulling a trailer passed too closely to a group of cyclists, ran over one cyclist with his trailer and left the scene. Cyclists report the motorist was honking constantly as he passed and returned to the scene 30 minutes later. The driver was cited for "unsafe passing".
Another crash this year involved Ken Sherman. Sherman was riding through an intersection in Des Moines when a car failed to yield to the oncoming cyclist and collided with Sherman causing injuries. The Des Moines Police failed to issue any citations following the incident, but determined the motorist to be at fault.
The Iowa Legislature considered clarifying the Iowa Code to specify passing distances and safe following distances for bicyclists. The bill failed to be considered through the funnel date despite passing in the Senate.
Whether or not new laws were enacted, cyclists still have the same rights and duties of the drivers of motor vehicles as specified in the Iowa Code. Incidents where cyclists are injured due to the inattentiveness of motorists are irresponsible and should be cited by police as appropriate. Incidents where cyclists are harassed or intimidated intentionally are violent and should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
If anyone is planning to attend this event, please post a comment, so that transportation can be coordinated.