Maryville Ride of Silence honors Jeff Roth

The Ride of Silence was held on May 21 in Maryville.

The event is a slow-paced ride honoring cyclists who have been injured or killed on public roadways and raises public awareness about the need for motorists to share the road. This event was held May 21 at locations around the world with more than 290 confirmed rides in the US.

Many motorists are not aware of or understand the rights of cyclists to use the public roadway and many bicycle enthusiasts see this as an excellent opportunity to educate the community about the responsibility everyone shares to make roads safer.

This was Maryville’s second year to participate in the Ride of Silence with 42 riders, which was up from 30 last year. Participants were thankful to have a member of the Maryville Police Department bicycle patrol join them on the route. For many, this was the first experience to participate in a Ride of Silence. Once again, area riders were happy to see the Roth Family in attendance at the start of the ride.

Jeff Roth was hit and killed while riding his bike in Blount County on August 19, 2006. His widow, Kathy Roth, founded the Jeff Roth Cycling Foundation to promote cycling, through advocacy and education, as a safe and healthy form of transportation. Members of the foundation are working to increase awareness of the Jeff Roth / Brian Brown Protection Act of 2007, signed into law on May 3, 2007, by Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen. Tennessee joins a handful of states that have moved forward to further protect cyclists on our roadways.

Passed without opposition in both the House and Senate, this act provides that “the operator of a motor vehicle when overtaking and passing a bicycle proceeding in the same direction on the roadway, shall leave a safe distance between the motor vehicle and the bicycle of not less than three feet (3’) and shall maintain such clearance until safely past the overtaken bicycle.” A violation of this section is a Class C misdemeanor.

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