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We Teach Driving Like Your Life Depends On It

Readers weigh in on cycling issues

July 13, 2018

By Steve Wallace
Times Colonist, July 13th 2018

Cyclists invariably come out the worst in a crash with a motor vehicle. Steve Wallace has suggestions how cyclists can ride more safely.

 

Readers of this column are full of suggestions and surprises in their rebuttals and feedback, which is much appreciated.

Mur asked me if I ever wore a helmet when riding my bike in my youth.
The answer is no.
I learned to ride a bike with the unique help of my father, who was a regimental sergeant-major in the Black Watch.

He took me to a hill and gave me a push, as he shouted: “Good luck!” Today, I would not ride my bike without wearing a helmet.
David took exception to the bike-crash brain-injury percentages provided to the Times Colonist in a recent letter to the editor.
A claim that bike crashes cause only 10 per cent of all brain injuries was the sticking point.

Here are his exact words: “Canadians travel much farther in cars, trucks and buses than on bicycles in a typical year.
Let’s guess that Canadians travel at least 1,000 kilometre in vehicles for every kilometre travelled by bike.
Therefore, the correct comparison is 0.045 injuries per vehicle kilometre verses 10 injuries per bike kilometre.”
Mur also has a concern for those in wheelchairs, as well as sight-impaired pedestrians.

Bikes are often going faster than cars on some municipal streets.
There is little time for nimble pedestrians to avoid a collision, let alone anyone with a physical impairment.
Anne was very straightforward in her observation that Vancouver Island motor vehicle drivers are much more courteous than those in Prince George.

She cites personal experience, and says Victoria is a great place to ride a bike. Her advice includes sticking to roads that have bike lanes, or on wider roads within the region.

Sometimes she is forced to use the sidewalk, and she will walk her bike instead of ride.
Marianne is fearful of being hit in a crosswalk by a cyclist who refuses to dismount.

She does not believe pedestrian crosswalks should be usurped by cyclists.

Gloria stated the need for a road test for cyclists and a licensing requirement. (The present government has no appetite for such legislation.)
She had a very important question: “If I am signalling a right turn across a bike lane, at what point do I have the right of way?

If there is not a designated bike lane, and I am signalling a right turn, does the bike rider have the right of way?

A bike rider has the right to proceed in an unmarked or marked bike lane.
Drivers must yield to a bike rider when turning at an intersection or moving laterally for any reason.
Drivers can turn over a solid white bike line road marking to park or turn from or into a residential, business or commercial driveway.

They must ensure the bike rider is clear of the driver’s blind spot, over the appropriate shoulder.
Drivers are advised to pull tight to the curb on a right turn at the dashed bike lane lines close to an intersection.
This will keep the cyclists safe behind the motor vehicle.

Driver or cyclist fault is usually determined by witness statements and the impact point upon a motor vehicle.

 

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