Steve Magas AKA “Ohio’s Bike Lawyer” received hundreds of pages of bicycle crash reports from the Ohio Department of Public Safety. He began analyzing the data on 12,084 reported bike crashes and found what he believes might be police bias against cyclists in Dayton, Ohio.
Depending on who you ask, the cyclist is found to be at fault in about 40% to 60% of crashes in the United States. When Magas initially began crunching his Ohio data on a countywide basis, he found the numbers generally tracked within those ranges. In Franklin County, for example, police assigned fault to cyclists 45% of the time. When he drilled down to a specific street (High Street in Columbus, Ohio), he saw cyclists were assigned fault only 20% of the time.
When he looked at Montgomery County (where Dayton is located), he was surprised to see cyclists were blamed in 71% of crashes. “Are Dayton cyclists that much worse at obeying the law, and that much better at causing crashes, than their brethren in Columbus?” Magas asked. So he looked at handful of other counties for comparison.
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Magas is looking for a volunteer to help him tease the stats out for the other Ohio Counties. He’s especially interested to see if Dayton continues “to be way off from everyone else. That could indicate some sort of systemic issue within the investigating police departments.”
Magas has specific numbers and much more detailed information at his website: 2011 Study of ALL Ohio Fatal Bike Crashes.