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Bike safety blitz
Well, we didn’t have much of a winter (yeah!), and now we are heading into some mighty fine spring weather (double yeah!!).
It’s that time of year when many of us will be hauling our bikes out of basements and garages and dusting them off. And it’s the time of year when motorists and cyclists have to learn to share the road all over again.
So far this year the Toronto Police have investigated 54 bicycle collisions … and biking season hasn’t even started yet.
So this week, in the east end (the Danforth/Broadview area to be exact), Toronto Police are kicking off a week long bike safety blitz. They want to make sure that cyclists and their bikes are properly outfitted for city riding and that there are no equipment violations. For example, bikes need to be outfitted with reflectors, lights and a working bell. They would also like to see more cyclists wear light colored or reflective clothing so that they are more visible.
Police will also be making sure that motorists have not forgotten how to share the road over the winter months. They will be targeting drivers who cross into bike lanes or who open their car doors without first checking for cyclists
Before becoming a driver you must study the rules of the road, and prove that you know them before you can get a license. Cyclists don’t have to do this, even though a bicycle is considered a vehicle under the Ontario Highway Traffic Act and, as a cyclist, you are required to obey traffic laws just like motorists.
Many of the rules for cyclists are the same for motorists. Staying within the speed limits, as well as signalling turns and obeying traffic lights and stop signs are the obvious ones. But cyclists are also required to yield for pedestrians at a crosswalk and even stop behind a school bus when the red lights are flashing.
So cyclists, make sure you “know” before you “go.”
And motorists remember, bikes are here to stay so be alert as you’re on your way.