Below is the text from a News Release from the Toronto Police Service.
The police are starting a new “one-week traffic safety initiative” aimed at “encouraging safe cycling as a practical mode of transportation in our city.”
This is good… educating drivers about watching for cyclists before opening doors, and checking blindspots before turning right, but probably more should be done, especially since the much-loved (that’s sarcasm, folks…) Cycle Right program is expected to start soon.
I notice there is a page about this initiative on the TPS website, but it would be great to have cops educating drivers on the rights of cyclists, like that they should give us 1 metre of space when passing, and that we are considered vehicles according to the Highway Traffic Act, which means we can make left turns like cars, and take up a whole lane if we want to.
Hand out pamphlets to drivers… have pamphlets in car dealerships, car repair shops, Canadian Automobile Association offices… Hmmm… I think I just had an idea about promoting cycling. :)
On Monday June 12, 2006, the Toronto Police Service will be launching a one-week traffic safety initiative entitled Safe Cycling – Share the Responsibility. This will be the second initiative undertaken as part of the Service’s comprehensive traffic strategy, “Operation Safe Journey”.
The Toronto Police Service is continuing to focus its’ efforts on encouraging safe cycling as a practical mode of transportation in our city. Safe Cycling – Share the Responsibility will commence today and conclude on Sunday June 18 2006. This initiative is designed to reduce the potential for cycling related injuries, through awareness, education and enforcement.
The Toronto Police Service reminds motorists of the dangers of opening car doors in the path of cyclists and the importance of checking blind spots prior to making right turns. Officers will pay particular attention to those motorists who endanger the lives of cyclists including vehicles parked in designated bike lanes. Attention will also be paid to cyclists whose aggressive riding puts themselves, pedestrians and motorists at risk.
Each year about 1,200 cyclists are involved in collisions on Toronto roadways. Cyclists are vulnerable road users. The last 5 cycling fatalities have involved commercial motor vehicles. Motorists and cyclists have a responsibility to share the road equally by driving safely, riding responsibly, and by obeying all the rules of the road.
For more information on Safe Cycling – Share the Responsibility, please contact Sergeant Brian Bowman at 416-808-1926 or Constable Stephen Burns at 416-808-1919.