May 02, 2019, Kitchener, Ontario
Posted by: Robert Deutschmann, Personal Injury Lawyer
This latest cycling safety awareness programme is effective for highlighting the dangers of motorized vehicles to cyclists on roads. This project began in the USA last week in response to the hit and run death of a cyclist in Washington D.C. Estimates are that the driver struck Mr. Salovesh at about 110 km/h. Mr. Salovesh was a cycling advocate in Washington. Mr. Salovesh fought for safer streets and cycling lanes across the country.
In response to his death other cyclists took a “tactical urbanism” move and decided to lay red plastic ‘solo’ cups as physical barriers between cars and bikes. The cups were often crushed by drivers within minutes of being placed. The action went global with people sharing images from Australia and England. The idea of red cups began in Portland, Oregon where an architect decided to use them as a call to action aimed at politicians and planners to do a better job at protecting cyclists with better infrastructure.
Cyclists argue that simply painting bike lanes onto the roads or ‘sharrows’ is not enough to keep cyclists safe from drivers who often park, cross into, or drive in bike lanes. Drivers are often at fault in the accidents involving bikes. Sadly though it is always the cyclist who is most injured in any car/cycle crash.
Waterloo Region saw a spike in car / bike crashes reported to police last year with 225 reported crashes. Approximately half of those were the fault of the car drivers. Waterloo Region has over 500 m of dedicated on-road bikeways and off-road multi use trails according to their website.
If you are cycling on the road you should always:
- be visible - use lights, reflectors and wear reflective material
- be predictable - signal your intentions, ride with traffic and obey all road signals
- always have room to manoeuvre - don't squeeze between curbs and other vehicles
- wear a helmet
According to the CAA
Cyclists have all the same rights and responsibilities as a driver of a motor vehicle and must obey the same rules when travelling the road. For example, cyclists must yield to pedestrians, stop for stop signs, and travel with the flow of traffic. If you are riding a bicycle, you are considered – by law – a vehicle on the road. If you dismount and walk alongside your bicycle, you are considered a pedestrian and have the same rights as a pedestrian.
Where Cycling Is Permitted
Always follow the rules of the road when riding on city streets or rural roads.
Check with your community’s bylaws to determine if cycling is permitted on sidewalks. Some Canadian communities only allow sidewalk riding by children on bikes with wheels less than 50 cm in diameter. It is recommended you walk your bicycle on pedestrian crosswalks and overpasses.
Cycling is permitted on trails designated as bicycle routes. Always obey trail and park closures posted on signs.
Entering the Street from a Driveway
1. Come to a complete stop.
2. Look left, centre, and to the right.
3. Shoulder check to ensure there are no other vehicles or cyclists.
4. Hand signal your intentions.
5. Look well ahead. When clear of vehicles and pedestrians and safe to do so, proceed to the right hand lane of the street.
Note: Cyclists exiting private property, a driveway, or an alley must yield to all road users
1. As you approach a controlled or uncontrolled intersection, scan left, centre, and right for pedestrians.
2. If there is a pedestrian waiting to cross or crossing the street, come to a full stop and yield the right of way to the pedestrian.
3. Wait until the pedestrian is clear of the crosswalk.
4. Scan left, centre, and right for any other road users.
5. Proceed through the intersection when safe to do so.