Drivers encouraged to share the road, avoid 'dooring' and abide by one-metre passing law
THORNHILL, ON, June 15, 2018 /CNW/ - It's bike month and with summer almost here, and more cyclists out on the roads, CAA South Central Ontario (SCO) is encouraging motorists to keep safety top of mind when sharing the road with cyclists.
All drivers and cyclists are advised to be predictable, be patient, communicate their intentions with signals, regularly check blind spots, and turn on their lights during dawn, dark and dusk.
CAA is also reminding motorists of important rules of the road that relate to cyclists:
- In Ontario, the one-metre safe passing rule requires a one-metre distance between driver and cyclist to improve safety for both.
- Although a cyclist physically only occupies a part of the lane at any time, they are permitted, under the Highway Traffic Act, to use the entire lane.
- Drivers and their passengers must be vigilant when exiting vehicles to prevent "dooring"-placing a vehicle in the path of an oncoming cyclist.
While the penalty for 'dooring' increased in 2015, the issue persists with 209 dooring collisions reported to the Toronto Police Service in 2016. 'Dooring' a cyclist carries a set fine of $365 and three points. The number of dooring collisions increased year over year in both 2015 and 2016 and was up 58 per cent in 2016 from the 2014 baseline.
CAA recently surveyed its members in South Central Ontario regarding their perceptions of 'dooring' and awareness of a life-saving technique called, the 'Dutch Reach' and found:
- 52 per cent of CAA members surveyed, cycle at least occasionally
- Less than 1/4 of members are aware of the legal consequences of 'dooring'.
- More than 4 in 5 members agree that 'dooring' is a safety issue for cyclists.
- 'Dooring' accidents are likely to be left unreported. Only a very small proportion of members who have experienced 'dooring' recall police involvement afterwards. Only 4 per cent of dooring incidents among members were reported to the police.
- 86 per cent of members surveyed have not heard of the 'Dutch Reach'.
- Opening the vehicle door using the 'Dutch Reach' is not a common practice among members. Only 15 per cent of members indicated that they use the 'Dutch Reach' to open their vehicle door. Those who do use the 'Dutch Reach' tend to be cyclists, males and younger Members.
Some additional quick safety tips to keep in mind while on the road include:
- Cyclists should ride cautiously when approaching intersection as some motorists may be in the act of turning.
- Cyclists should not pass motorists on the right; but rather wait or pass on left as it is dangerous to be in blind spot of a vehicle already in the act of turning.
- Cyclists are required to have a white front light and a red rear light or reflector if riding between a half hour before sunset and a half hour after sunrise. White reflective tape is also required on the front forks and red reflective tape on rear forks.
- A bell or horn in good working order is also required.
- Motorists turning right should look carefully for cyclists on their right side and in their blind spot.
Before heading out on two wheels, download CAA's newly launched Bike Assist App that uses GPS to navigate cycling routes and provides peace of mind with roadside bike assistance at the click of a button.
About CAA South Central Ontario
For over a hundred years, CAA has been helping Canadians stay mobile, safe and protected. CAA South Central Ontario is one of nine auto clubs across Canada providing roadside assistance, travel, insurance services and Member savings for our over 2 million Members.
SOURCE CAA South Central Ontario