Finish the Ride Moves Hundreds for Traffic Safety in Los Angeles

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Hundreds of runners, walkers and cyclists gathered in Griffith Park as part of Finish The Ride a campaign to increase awareness of traffic safety and help end the epidemic of fatalities occurring on the streets of Los Angeles. Now in its 3rd year, Finish The Ride was created by cyclist, Damian Kevitt -- survivor of a gruesome hit and run in February 2013. http://www.FinishTheRide.org.

Finish the Ride started in 2014 as an inspiring event to help end hit and run crimes in Los Angeles -- the capitol of hit and runs in the US. The event was created by Damian Kevitt, who overcame his own hit and run tragedy where he lost his right leg and almost his life when he was hit and dragged under a car almost a quarter mile in Griffith Park only three years ago.

Finish the Ride has since grown from a ride to a multi-faceted event encompassing pedestrians, cyclists, runners, rollerbladers, challenged athletes, etc. The basic message: everyone has their own tragedies in life and the best way to deal with it is to get back up and FINISH THE RIDE!

This year was special for Finish the Ride. Not only was it bringing its signature Ride, Run, Walk n’ Roll event back to Griffith Park, it also expanded its original mission of ending hit and run crimes to now encompass traffic safety in general as encompassed by an initiative recently implemented by L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti, Vision Zero 2025. (http://VisionZero.lacity.org)

Vision Zero is a traffic safety policy that promotes smart behaviors and safer roadway design so that collisions do not result in severe injury or death. Several cities throughout the U.S. have also adopted the Vision Zero goal, including New York, San Francisco, Seattle, Portland, Chicago, San Jose and San Diego.

The opening ceremony for Finish the Ride Griffith Park included the General Manager of LA Department of Transportation, Ms. Seleta Reynolds and Mr. Andrew Said, a Deputy City Attorney specializing in pedestrian and bicycle cases. Included in the ceremony were special appearances from Sandra Eagleson and Sylvia Zaldivar -- the wife and mother of Shaun Eagleson, who was killed by a hit and run drunk driver while he was cycling on PCH in 2014. Also included was Alberto Alvarez and other family of Cairo Joseph Castaneda, who was killed while riding in Studio City just five days before the event.

Damian best summed up the mood of the event when he told the participants, "Finish the Ride is a celebration of the determination to never give up. This includes never giving up on on traffic safety by caring to make sure others don't drive distracted, drunk or on drugs and that they always watch the road. And THAT is how we all can contribute to reducing traffic fatalities in LA down to zero."

The event this year, held on Sunday the 10th of April at the Autry Museum, was a success with over 600 people in attendance, participating in multiple activities -- rides from the 6 Mile Renaissance Academy Fun Ride up to an intense 50 mile ride with over 4000 feet of elevation gain; runs from a 5K up to a half marathon on the trails around Griffith Park as well as walks and rolls. Participants were all awarded colorful finishing medals and treated to live cover songs from The Pinheads while they enjoyed post event festivities and awards.

Finish the Ride is a campaign of Streets Are For Everyone (SAFE), a non-profit founded by Damian Kevitt to use sensible, proven strategies to prevent hit and run crimes and the events leading up to them, making streets safer for all users - pedestrians, motorcyclists, bicyclists and motor vehicles. For more information about SAFE go to http://www.StreetsAreForEveryone.org.

The next Finish the Ride event is being co-produced by Forged by Fire Foundation and held at Heritage Park in Santa Clarita on Saturday, April 30th. For more information about the next event go to http://www.FinishTheRide.org.

FINISH THE RIDE -- it's not just a ride, it's a movement. Be a part of the solution!

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Damian Kevitt

Damian Kevitt
@FinishTheRide
since: 01/2014
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Family members who lost loved ones in deadly collisions speaking on traffic safety at opening ceremony.Opening Ceremony with Victims of Traffic Collisions.Damian Kevitt speaking at Finish the Ride Opening Ceremony with Alberto, Sandra and Sylvia -- all of who recently lost loved ones to traffic collisions in Los Angeles.LA DOT GM outlines actions to eliminate fatal traffic collisions by 2025.GM of LA DOT Talks About Vision ZeroGM of LA DOT, Ms Seleta Reynolds, spoke to the hundreds in attendance about actions the City of LA is taking to implement Vision Zero -- an initiative to eliminate all traffic fatalities for a year by 2025.Hundreds take part, running to raise awareness of the importance of street safety.Kicking off the 5K run/walk.Hundreds of participants took part in the various events. Here, students from Renaissance Academy of Altadena are starting the 5K run and walk.LAPD Bike Patrol Officers Support Traffic Safety Event Called Finish The Ride.Damian with LAPD Traffic Safety Bike Patrol OfficersLAPD Traffic Safety Bike Patrol Officers have been part of Finish The Ride since the first year -- participating and raising awareness of the importance of traffic safety.Never giving up, participants sprint across the finish line.Happy Participants Crossing the Finish LineExhibinting the motto of Finish The Ride -- Never Give Up -- finishers sprinted across the finish line to rceeive their colorful finishing medals, t-shirts and others goodies.LA City Attorney's Office Supports Zero Traffic Fatalities.Mr Said from LA City Attorney Talking at Opening CerimonyMr Said talked about how the LA City Attorney's Office is helping to implement Vision Zero.Finishers Proudly Crossing the Finish LineFinishers Proudly Crossing the Finish LineExhibinting the motto of Finish The Ride -- Never Give Up -- finishers sprinted across the finish line to rceeive their colorful finishing medals, t-shirts and others goodies.Cyclies of all ages enjoy a safe ride around Griffith Park.The Renaissance Academy 6 Mile Fun Ride About to StartKids, families and adults enjoyed the Renaissance Academy 6 Mile Fun Ride on the safe bike lanes of Griffith Park.Kids enjoy a safe ride around Griffith Park.The Renaissance Academy 6 Mile Fun Ride Kicks OffKids, families and adults enjoyed the Renaissance Academy 6 Mile Fun Ride on the safe bike lanes of Griffith Park.Challenged Athletes Take Part in Finish The Ride to Make Streets Safer for ALL Users.Challenged Athletes Take Part in Finish The Ride to Make Streets Safer for ALL Users.Finish the Ride, Run, Walk n Roll includes activities for all types of athletes, especially including challenged athletes.