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Got RIGHTS? Get a Bike Lawyer...

Steve Magas, Ohio's Bike Lawyer

Don't let a bicycle crash turn your life Upside Down! Lost wages and medical bills pile up while you are in pain. The last thing you need is to be taken advantage of by an insurance company.

Steve Magas, The Bike Lawyer, has been protecting the rights of riders for more than 25 years. Steve has handled more than 200 "bike cases" including wrongful death and brain damage cases, and accidents causing riders to suffer major injuries, fractures, disk injuries, back injuries, neck injuries, surgeries, road burns, clavicle and scapula fractures, rotator cuff injuries and more. Steve provides a FREE CONSULTATION to discuss your claim. Call him at 513-484-BIKE [2453] or write to him at bike lawyer [at] aol dot com to discuss your crash TODAY!

One Sentencing + Two Fatal Crashes = Rough Week

I was in Florida for a week – didn’t ride a bit but soaked up the sun. Got back early Sunday knowing Monday would be rough – the sentencing of Andy Gast’s killer was set for 10:30 am. I was preparing a post here about the sentencing, and about how relatively “safe” the summer has been, when I came across two stories of two similar crashes… both fatal…

On July 12, 2013 a 58 year old cyclist, Janice Howard of Arcanum, was riding east on Delisle Fourman Road in Darke County, Ohio when she was struck from behind by 24 year old Jessica Jones.  Jones can be heard screaming on the 911 tape about how she was blinded by the sun and never saw the cyclist.

Up north, in Ottawa County, the OSHP is investigating the death of another  cyclist – 37 year old Dale Tusen of Port Clinton, Ohio. He was struck from behind at a little before 6:00 am this morning by a 2012 Chevy Impala operated by 68 year old Michael Swint.

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Andy Gast’s Killer to be Sentenced July 22, 9am -BE THERE

Andy Gast was killed on August 28, 2012 while taking an early morning bike ride.  Andy was riding near Lunken Airport when he was run down by Melvin White. It was a dark, foggy morning. Andy had front and rear lights. Melvin White was not, it seems, drunk or texting but just on his way to work. White was charged with two counts of Vehicular Homicide in Hamilton County Municipal Court Case No. 12CRB33907.

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I’m Baaaaack! And ON THE RADIO!

Sorry for the long delay between posts – between cases, Bike Month, the Three Foot Bill, cases, depositions and other litigation stuff… well… it’s been a crazy few months.

Today, though, July 8, 2013, I will be appearing on All Sides with Ann Fisher!  WOSU radio – 89.7 FM – to Talk Bike!  Later today, I’ll have a full report of that, with 8×10 glossy photographs with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back, in three-part harmony – as well as updates on:

– The Three Foot Bill – HB145 percolating in Columbus

– Criminal Motorists – Including the upcoming sentencing of Melvin White, who ran over and killed Andy Gast in Cincinnati last August

– Dr. Unk, the allegedly drunk doc who ran over a cyclist north of Columbus

– My radio experiences with Ode Aduma and Bicycling Today on AM 1390, The Sports Animal

– The 6,000 word essay I wrote on Ohio Bike Law

– The recent Bike Racing epidemic which erupted for a weekend in Cincinnati

and more… more … more…

So Stay Tuned!



On September 12, 2012 Dominick Schiavone was riding an Omega Quest bicycle northbound along the berm of  U.S.Rt. 23 in Delaware County.  Dr. Elizabeth Unk was driving northbound on U.S. 23 in her 2007 Chrysler Pacifica.  According to the police report Dr. Unk “…traveled off the right side of the road and stuck …” Mr. Schiavone.

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Queen City Bike’s Frank Henson has done a bang up job at QCB – his latest success is talking Norton, the billboard folks, into providing space for “PSA” type announcements.  The Three Foot Law Billboard was released today – it looks pretty groovy.



There are a number of subtle things going on here

– The cyclist is NOT a lycra clad racer on a racing bike made of the latest molecules of unobtainium.

– The cyclist is NOT on top of the white line, but is taking a good lane position.

– The Motorist is crossing the centerline.

– The centerline is a Double Yellow – reinforcing the fact that Ohioans, since 2006, have been permitted to cross the double yellow line to pass a slower moving vehicle.

The logos at the bottom include MY new logo – [I gave a few bucks to QCB to help get this billboard done] along with the Ohio Bicycle Federation and others who helped make this happen.

The Billboards will go up for Bike Month in May – and hopefully stay up through the summer riding season!

Great Job FRANK!

OHIO’S NEW DOG LAWS – What If Fido Takes You Out For Lunch?

Nice weather – spring rides – loose dogs … they seem to go hand in hand… or foot in mouth…

What’s the Dog Law like in Ohio?  This is a topic I’ve covered in the past so some of this post will be repetitive.  However, Ohio’s Dog Laws changed significantly in 2012, so we’ll also take a look at how counties can treat dog owners of dogs that are “nuisance,” “dangerous” or “vicious” dogs, under the new law’s standards… let’s check it out!


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OHIO THREE FOOT LAW Bill To Be Introduced

The Ohio Bicycle Federation has pushing our three part bicycle law package for 2013.  We got one piece passed as an amendment to the huge Transportation Bill.  We have found a primary sponsor for the other two parts of our bill.  On April 10, 2013 it is anticipated that Rep. Mike Henne [R] will introduce the bill with Rep. Connie Pillich [D] as a co-sponsor.  They are seeking additional sponsors for the bill on both sides of the aisle.

Stay tuned here as we follow the bill through the sausage-making machinery…

Meanwhile, in Cincinnati, where a Three Foot Law is already “The Law” within the city limits, Queen City Bike has developed outstanding relationships with Norton, the billboard people, and METRO, the bus people.  Word is that we will soon be seeing some Three Foot Law billboards around town soon and some METRO busses decorated with some nice Pro-Bike graphics… again… stay tuned -

Sausage Making in Action! A New Definition of “Bicycle” Is Signed Into Law

On April 1, 2013 Ohio’s not-so-Bike-Friendly Gov., John Kasich, signed HB51 into law.  This is the big “Transportation Bill” that has been in the news featuring New Improved FASTER Speed Limits. Buried in the bill, at line 2500 or so is a few lines added at the request of the Ohio Bicycle Federation – a new definition of “Bicycle.”

Why is this important?  Where did it come from?

It all started a traffic ticket given by police in Lakewood, Ohio to Vinnie Latessa, who was giving his 10-year old autistic son a ride in his “Rhodes Car…”








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Yes, friends, it’s true.  After several months of development, my brand new BIKE CRASH APP is now available for downloading.

For Iphones – Download from Itunes

For Droids – Download from…er… um… Droidland – or wherever Droid users go…








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2013 OBF Law Proposal Includes Three Foot Law

The Ohio Bicycle Federation, Ohio’s only statewide bicycle advocacy group, has passed a set of three short, powerful law proposals to present to the Ohio Legislature.  These include:

A.  Three Foot Passing Law – a one sentence add-on to current law.

B.  Modification of the Definition of “Bicycle” – Designed to capture a broader set of pedal cycles, including the 4-wheel “Rhodes Car” that Vinnie Latessa uses to take his 10 year old autistic son for a ride in Lakewood, Ohio.

C.  Revise 4511.132- Malfunctioning Traffic Signal – This will cover situations where bicyclists and motorcyclists are stuck at a Red light because the “vehicle detector” doesn’t detect our vehicles!

MUCH more on this later – but for now, know that we will be pushing hard to get these issues before the legislature, through committee and brought to a vote.  These are, I believe, bi-partisan issues which “should” be no-brainers for both sides of the aisle in a divisive house and senate!

The proposed Three Foot Law will be a one sentence addition to 4511.27, Ohio’s passing law.  Current law mandates that a passing maneuver be accomplished at a “safe distance.”  The new proposal will add a sentence which states: “When a motor vehicle overtakes a bicycle, the safe passing distance shall be not less than three feet.

Not only will this law create a zone of safety around a cyclist but it will give police another ticketing option in those situations where a cyclist is “buzzed” at close proximity by an irritated or careless motorist, even if the “buzz” doesn’t result in a crash.

Anyone who rides on the road at all has, undoubtedly, been the victim of a “buzz.”  These motorist attacks are extremely dangerous – the slightest miscalculation by the motorist can lead to a deadly or serious crash.  More frequently, though, they result in either terrifying the cyclist, or causing a sense of rage against the motorist that can escalate into an unfortunate encounter.

I’ve been urging cyclists for many years to get the license number and report these incidents to police.  Demand that a police report be prepared.  Even if nothing further happens, that report is available to the NEXT cyclist this motorist “buzzes” – you KNOW they will do it again, eh?  In today’s riding climate, Helmet Cam’s are all the “rage” – and the next few years should provide us with quite a library of video footage to use to make these arguments effectively…

In the California “Road Rage” case involving Dr. Thompson, police were able to refer to several prior complaints cyclists lodged against Dr. Thompson to show that his actions were NOT “careless” or “negligent” but were the intentional actions of a “road rage”
perpetrator.   Dr. Thompson is currently serving a 5 year sentence, and will likely lose his medical license due to a felony conviction.

So, keep an eye on this page, my Facebook page, and the Ohio Bicycle Federation page for details on how YOU, yes, YOU, can become an active participant in state government and help us get these important points written into Ohio law.