Friday, 14 May 2010

Road safety

On my bus ride in this morning, I was reading my latest edition of Triathlon Magazine Canada, which has some focus on cycling safety while on the road. The closing page is written by Jordan Rapp, who was seriously injured when he was hit by a car during a training ride. The editor of the magazine, in his opening letter, stated just how ironic it is that while publishing this issue with Jordan's article, Jordan is recovering in hospital. I read the road safety article thinking just how sudden these things happen, and why things aren't changing.

The magazine points to the Share The Road group, led by a woman who lost her husband when he was struck by a car while riding. Somehow she's taken her situation and empowered this group to table and pass legislation that lets police have the power to enforce such traffic violations (the sentence for the driver, in this case, was 100hrs of community service), and to lead governments at all levels to invest in infrastructure and initiatives to make cycling safer for everyone. I strongly encourage you to visit the Share The Road site and review the Green Paper that has legs in Canadian government. If you're Canadian, keep this in mind during the next election (federal, provincial, or municipal).

Then I read in the news today that 6 cyclists where hit just east of Montreal. A chilling reminder of the 5 from Kanata that were hit not too long ago (on a road that I ride quite often).

Getting bikes off the road won't help. Getting bike-only lanes won't solve the problem. This is all a problem with education. Learn how to be a safe cyclist and help drivers anticipate you and your actions. Learn how to be a patient driver, and know when to safely pass a cyclist. Ride single file. Stay visible. Stay alert.

I don't care who you are or what you drive - just remember that all of us have someone and/or something to get home to, and we need them just as much as they need us.

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