Recently the Government of Quebec passed new laws aimed at securing cyclists’ safety. I am all in favour of road safety for all, and hope these stricter laws will save lives. But I believe that until such time as cyclists take things seriously there will always be problems.
Maintaining a one metre distance from cyclists makes perfect sense. This gives them a cushion should someone open the door of a parked car suddenly and provides cyclists with some room. However, it should be waived on streets with dedicated bicycle lanes. Why a cyclist would risk injury or death by passing cars on the right when a perfectly safe bicycle lane is available is beyond me. Stay in the bicycle lane please.
“Dooring” — the common way to describe when someone opens the door of a stopped vehicle without shoulder-checking and hits a passing cyclist — will now cost drivers between $200 and $300. That’s up from $30.
Just this morning I learned that “Voie Barrée” does not mean “lane closed” as I had always thought, but evidently means “ride your bicycle on the sidewalk”. I may not be fluently bilingual, but I think I got that one.
Road closures are a pain, and are all to frequent during summer months, but they are part of life in the city and just have to be dealt with in the safest way possible. No one over the age of about eight should be riding a bicycle on a sidewalk.
I have a sense that urban cycling in Montreal will never be safe until cyclists adhere to the rules of the road.