New Tools to Keep Cyclists Safe

July 20, 2017, Kitchener, Ontario

Posted by: Robert Deutschmann, Personal Injury Lawyer

Ontario changed the law in January 1027, to require all drivers to give bicycles a one metre clearance when passing them. The law, however, has been hard to enforce with the only charges being laid when there has been contact between the car and bike. Sadly we can't just use a measuring tape each time a car passes a bike.

Police admit that while the law requires the minimum separation distance, there has been no way to actually make the measurement until now. A couple of new devices are on the market which use either ultrasound or a sonar system to measures the distance between the passing cars and the bike it’s on. A beacon lights up at any time the distance is less than 3 feet, and the uses gets a readout of the distance.

Police in Guelph, Ottawa, and other cities in North America, have been using the device on some of their police bikes. The police officer on the bike can contact other officers when cars encroach on the distance and have them pulled over. To date the police have only been giving warnings rather than laying charges. They see this as an excellent educational tool in the city.

The cost of the devices is prohibitively high for most cyclists at $3000 and still leaves the issue of enforcement in the air. Guelph police hope that this warning system will help cars and bikes develop mutual respect and awareness on the roads.

The fine for driving too close to a cyclist is $110 and three demerit points.



Posted under Bicycle Accidents

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