Philadelphia held a large bike ride on Sunday to increase awareness of bike safety and honor cyclists who have died in car accidents. Over 100 cyclists participated, including Sidney Ozer, whose 17-year-old son, Samuel lost his life in a car crash.
Ozer’s son was struck and killed by a vehicle while riding his bike home from work on Father’s Day 2020, on Henry Avenue, a high injury street. According to the city of Philadelphia’s Office of Complete Streets, there have been over 110 traffic fatalities this year, including 10 cyclists.
Laura Fredricks, co-founder of Families for Safe Streets of Greater Philadelphia, emphasized that Philadelphia is a Vision Zero city and called attention to the recent increase in traffic deaths. She also called upon government representatives in Harrisburg to listen to the need for safe street legislation.
Advocates are hoping for more bike lanes with a row of parked cars to protect cyclists from traffic and want to extend the Speed Camera Pilot Program. Ozer believes that if these safety measures were already in place, his son may still be alive today.
With Thanksgiving approaching, this year will mark the first without Samuel, but Ozer is committed to remembering his son and campaigning for safer streets in his honor.