Salem man convicted for bicycle 'road rage' incident - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

New Ohio law requires 3 foot clearance for bicyclists

Salem man convicted for bicycle 'road rage' incident

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LISBON, Ohio -

The Columbiana County Prosecutor is using the conviction of a Salem man in a road rage case to make people aware of a new law that gives bicyclists some room on the road.

Judge Scott Washam on Monday found Stephen Bauman, 71, guilty of felonious assault and failure to stop after an accident.

According to the judge's ruling, Bauman screamed obscenities as he drove his truck within inches of a bicyclist he was passing on North Ellsworth Avenue in 2015.

The bicyclist and witnesses say Bauman veered into the bike's path and suddenly stopped, resulting in the bicycle slamming into the back of the truck, catapulting the bicyclist over the back of the truck.

Although the bike rider was injured, witnesses say Bauman drove away from the scene.

Prosecutor Herron says the verdict comes down one day before a new Ohio law goes into effect requiring drivers to give at least three feet of clearance when passing a cyclist on the roadway.

“Each motorist must respect and yield the right-of-way regardless of the type of vehicle operated,” writes Herron in a statement.

Herron points out that 726 cyclists were killed on the nation's highways in 2014. He says the figure accounts for more than 2% of traffic deaths despite the fact that cyclists account for only 1% of trips taken on the road.

According to Herron, Bauman faces a minimum two-year prison sentence on the felonious assault charge and up to six months in the county jail for the failure to stop an offense.

Sentencing is set for May 18.

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