CONTRIBUTION · 28th August 2010
Okay. For heaven's sake!
DRIVERS: Give people a wee bit of space at the very least when you come across a cyclist on the road! Cyclists are not permitted on the sidewalks for good reason. When they participate in roadway activity as they are to do, pah-lease treat them with respect.
CYCLISTS: No wonder drivers have no patience for you. Obey the darn road rules!!! It's not rocket science! And wear a darn HELMUT! It's the law!
EVERYONE ELSE: Kindly report motor vehicles who cause near misses with cyclists and vise versa. Take note of license plate numbers and descriptions of cyclists, including notations of their description and direction of travel.
Why am I cross about this?
Well, my husband just came home from his 80 km road cycling trip today and YET AGAIN almost got killed due to a silver truck that almost ran him down on the frickin' highway by Shames Mtn! The truck barely spared him any room at all even when there was no incoming traffic! He almost fell over in the draft effect!
As a bike survivor involved in a MVA due to lack of vigilance from that driver...I have little patience for drivers or cyclists who do not obey very simply road rules. As a result of that accident, I had to get new teeth, sustained a head injury, was in hospital for a lengthy duration, and I've never ridden a bike since. If our City streets were more accomodating to bike traffic, I might consider riding again. But for now...nope. Not gonna happen. I'll burn up the gas fueled vehicle without any hesitation.
And there's my husband. Always kissing us goodbye when he goes on his cycling trip (cuz he knows darn well he might be KILLED during that trip!).
So, enuf already! Get it together people!
Okay...that's my vent. 'Hope you are all enjoying your week as you consider every person you encounter while you're out and about.
Comment by M Johnson on 1st September 2010
As the author of this write-up...I must sadly respond that, unfortunately...even when my husband does ride his road bike like a motorcycle or vehicle by riding near the middle line...he gets repeated honks for him to get off the road (and he doesn't ride slow! He usually cycles 40 km/hour. Faster than some peeps I've come across in their cars on the road this very week).
One vehicle even passed him while he was travelling along in the lane by the centre line. The vehicle passed him by swerving LEFT over the centre line into oncoming traffic, just to get ahead of him - yikes.
Hmmm...maybe I'd better increase his life insurance policy, just in case. Eiy yi yiii...
At least we're raising awareness, heh? Thx so much for all your input.
Evan-Agree to Disagree
Comment by James Ippel on 31st August 2010
Please explain to me how a cyclist gets the right of way because he is riding near the curb. When I signal for a right hand turn, the vehicle behind me cannot decide to go up on the sidewalk to pass me, nor does the cyclish have the right to pass me on the right. He has the same obligation as a vehicle, and stay behine me till I have completed my turn. If we take this to the extreme, the cyclist should be riding his bike in the left portion of the lane he is travelling in, the same as a motorcyclist. Now we both know that cyclists are not the only bad, inattentive drivers in Terrace, and they would be inviting disaster by doing this, but it is perfectly legal and pretty damn dumb.
Bottom line is that motorists and cyclist have to have more respect for each other, but I think that cyclists have more to learn. I find it offensive the the RCMP's Community Relations Officer would state that they do not enforce helmet and other bicycle laws because it might offend young people, and continue to act way as a means to get closer to the youth. Hopefully she will never have to attend an accident where a cyclist has been smeared all over the front of the radiator of a large truck, or has been projected through the windshield of an automobile.
Comment by Helmut Giesbrecht on 30th August 2010
Here's the issue. If a cyclist observes the rules of the road then he/she should not pass a slower moving vehicle on the right, especially if there is no right lane. He/she should wait in the line until their turn to go through the intersection. That would be the safest thing to do. Instead they want to be both vehicle and pedestrian and there lies the danger.
Let me explain myself James
Comment by Evan Jennings on 30th August 2010
What I was referring to was when a cyclist was biking along the road, as they should be, they will be on the right of your vehicle. Now when you slow down, they will still be biking, and have the right of way to go through the intersection before you turn. If you hit the cyclist as you turn, you are at fault.
I agree that on the cross walks that they have to get of their bike to be given right of way. Until they are off the bike they are considered to be a vehicle, but once they are of the seat, they are a pedestrian.
Comment by Helmut Giesbrecht on 30th August 2010
I'm with James on this one. You can do a shoulder check for pedestrians walking up to the intersection but when making a right turn, but a speeding bicycle or skateboarder coming down what is the equivalent of a non existent right lane (ie.sidewalk) is almost impossible to prepare for. Whatever happened to the instruction "stop, look and listen before you cross the street" for pedestrians? Pedestrians who are walking down a sidewalk and make an abrupt turn steeping out into a traffic lane, giving no indication of their intention are foolish. They expect traffic to come to a screeching halt because they don't have the courtesy to stop and look to see what they are playing "chicken" with. They may be right but being dead right does not cross their minds. One of the most frightening sights I witness is a young mother pushing a baby stroller out ahead of her without looking to see if the traffic will stop.
That being said, cyclists on the road should be given a wide berth. Most of them follow the rules of the road. There is no excuse not to give them lots of room when passing them.
Comment by Courtenay Kelliher on 30th August 2010
Just a clarification:
I am definitely aware that we need to do shoulder checks and actually do them dilligently :)
In this case, I was focusing more on people going through a cross walk, not going through the intersection in the same direction as you, but I thank you so much for reminding everyone about the importance of shoulder checks. We often forget that when we've been sitting at an intersection waiting to make a right-hand turn, a cyclist could have come up beside us. If we all just slow down and take the time to look at the road like we should be, roads will be a safer place for everyone.
ICBC Examiner tip
Comment by M Johnson on 30th August 2010
Here's an examiner tip from ICBC.
"When turning right, shoulder check to the right to ensure there
are no cyclists, pedestrians or other road users heading straight
through the intersection (and therefore into your path)."
More tips on driving/riding can be found on the ICBC.com website.
Comment by James Ippel on 29th August 2010
I beg to differ on having to do a shoulder check for cyclists when making a right turn. When making this turn I check for pedestrians who might be about to enter the Crosswalk.
The key word is "CROSSWALK." A cyclist entering a crosswalk must walk his/her bike through. This is not a "safe haven" for cyclists.
I commend the father who walked himself and his two children through the crosswalk, even when they had the traffic light in their favour, and all were wearing helmets.
I, several times, have almost had a new hood ornament because cyclists go through crosswalks against the light, with no concern for vehicular traffic. The weight difference between a 3/4 ton pickup and a cyclist is great. Who wins? No one. The driver is traumitized for life and the cyclist is either very injured or very dead.
Comment by M Johnson on 29th August 2010
Thanks for the hint on road safety, Courtenay.
Let's all try to look after one another; whether transporting about in a vehicle or scootin' around town on a bike.
Let's all commit to take extra time in care and effort on the roads towards one another, which may result in keeping us all safe.
Awareness = safety:)
'Have a gr8 and safe day.
FYI Courtenay Kelliher
Comment by Evan Jennings on 29th August 2010
Just to let you know. When you are making a right turn you are not supposed to be just worrying about the traffic from your left. This is why most people fail their test for their "N".
On every right turn you HAVE to do a right shoulder check for cyclists. If you miss three shoulder checks of any sort during the test you fail. Most kids when they take their road test do not know this. Hope this helps.
Comment by alan on 29th August 2010
Helmut. Thanks for the correction. Who knew!
Comment by M Johnson on 29th August 2010
PHA HA!! Thanks, Helmut!
Have a safe day:)
Comment by Courtenay Kelliher on 29th August 2010
There has been a lot of attention given to the issues around sidewalk cycling in our local media lately. I definitely advocate cycling on the road whenever possible (granted you are 16 or older...if you can't have a driver's license you probably don't know the rules of the road and it is safer for us all if you are on the sidewalk); however, I understand that some people do feel the need to bike on the sidewalk because they feel so unsafe on the road. This probably won't change any time soon but in the meantime, my vent and plea to sidewalk cyclists is:
PLEASE, if you are going to bike on the sidewalk, at least bike on the same side of the road as the traffic you are biking with!!!
There is not much more worrying/frightening than preparing to make a right hand turn, double checking that indeed there is no traffic coming your way and then suddenly having a bike whiz across the cross walk in the opposite direction. Of course you should be looking in both directions but when you are turning right, your main focus is on the traffic coming from your left. Cyclists put themselves and vehicles in danger by biking on the sidewalk against the flow of traffic...I really don't understand why, especially in areas where there are sidewalks on both sides of the street.
Hopefully someday, cyclists will feel safe and confident enough to make use of the (few) bike lanes and ride with traffic. Until then, please use your head and at least bike smartly if you really feel you must be on the sidewalk.
And wear a helmet!
Comment by Helmut Giesbrecht on 29th August 2010
Wear a HELMET! Not a Helmut.