Bicycle Safety Patrol - CAA-Quebec shares the road with Montreal police

QUEBEC CITY, May 27, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - Today, May 27, CAA-Quebec and the Service de police de la Ville de Montréal are out in the street, at Rue Cherrier and Avenue du Parc-La Fontaine in downtown Montreal. Their goal is to raise awareness among road users of the importance of observing best practices when it comes to traffic safety. For the occasion, CAA-Quebec is even offering cyclists free minor tune-ups to their bikes.

CAA-Quebec is proud to be part of the bicycle safety patrols being conducted by Montreal police as part of the 100% vigilant awareness campaign, organized jointly with partners the City of Montreal Transportation Department, the Société de transport de Montréal, and the Société de l'assurance automobile du Québec.

Real-time observation
For CAA-Quebec, being on the scene near a cycle path, pedestrian crosswalks and high-traffic streets during rush hour is a way to make real-time observations of co-existence among the various groups of road users, which is characteristic of a city like Montreal.

"We chose the intersection of Cherrier and Parc-La Fontaine because it's very representative," explains Yvon Lapointe, CAA-Quebec's Director of Road Safety Education, adding: "We'll be able to meet with many pedestrians and cyclists and talk to them about their visions of traffic safety. We hope that by being out in the street like this, we can get people thinking and exploring possible solutions to maximize safety for all users."

The importance of bicycle maintenance
CAA-Quebec specialists will be offering basic repair services to cyclists passing through the area, to ensure their bikes are in good condition. Whether it's an improper seat or handlebar position or a poorly oiled chain, quick fixes will be provided free of charge for the occasion.

"While our primary task today is to raise awareness among all users of the importance of road sharing, we wanted to add a little something extra for cyclists. We'll also be handing out reflective armbands as visibility aids," Mr. Lapointe adds. CAA-Quebec also reminds the public that it upgraded its Roadside Assistance offering to members in 2012 to include Bike Assist service.

Conflicting opinions, worrisome statistics
An October 2013 survey by CAA-Quebec found 52% of cyclist respondents believe motorists to be not at all respectful or not very respectful. Among motorists, meanwhile, 64% rated cyclists' behaviour as unsafe or not very safe.

"These results show the duality that sometimes exists across two groups of users," Mr. Lapointe concludes. "The thing is, almost all of us are motorists, cyclists and pedestrians at various times. That's why it's so important to remind everyone of the basic rules so we can all coexist safely." In 2013 on City of Montreal territory, 742 cyclists were involved in road accidents, and 105 others were victims of "dooring." During the same period in Quebec City, 155 cyclists were involved in accidents.

CAA-Quebec's road safety experts, accompanied by SPVM officers, will be present from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the corner of Rue Cherrier and Avenue du Parc-La Fontaine. The police department's bicycle safety patrol operations, meanwhile, continue through June 5, 2014. For more details, see the awareness campaign calendar on the SPVM website, www.spvm.qc.ca.

About CAA-Quebec
CAA-Quebec, a not-for-profit organization founded in 1904, provides automotive, travel, residential and financial services and privileges to its 1,270,000 members.

SOURCE CAA-Québec

For further information:

Philippe St-Pierre
Assistant Director, Research and Public Affairs
418 624-2424, ext. 2418
Cell.: 418 580-1633
pstpierre@caaquebec.com