Thursday, May 20, 2010

Support new safe cyling legislation

Fellow cyclists, I hope you will join me in writing to your local MPP to support private members Bill 74 (sponsored by MPP Cheri Dinovo) which has been tabled for first reading in the Ontario Legislature.

The legislation would amend the Highway Traffic Act and require vehicles to keep at least three feet away when overtaking cyclists at speeds of less than 50 kilometres-and-hour. The minimum distance increases to four feet when the vehicle is travelling at 50 to 80 kilometres-an-hour. It increases to five feet when vehicles are going faster than 80 kilometres-an-hour. About 15 States and several American cities require drivers to keep at least three feet away from cyclists. France, Spain and Germany also have similar laws in place.

Specific details of the bill can be found here:

All of us who are cyclists and cycle commuters are aware of the increasingly hazardous conditions of riding in Otario mororized traffic.... why the hazards are increasing is anyone's guess.....driver inattentian to the task at hand, indifference to the fact that other road users exist, distraction by myriad technological gadgets, outright contempt for non-motorized road traffic....???

Some additional information can be found here:

To find out who your MPP is look here:

In contacting your MPP please also copy them at so that they can keep track of the support.

Peace out and ride safe !

1 comment:

Bigger Dummy said...

Thanks Mike. Here is my email to Chiarelli, McLeod and McGuinty. Feel free to use or edit at will :)


Mr. McGuinty, Ms. McLeod and Mr. Chiarelli:

RE: Private Members Bill 74, Highway Traffic Amendment Act (Safe Bicycle Passing), 2010

As a taxpayer residing in the riding of Nepean-Carleton who commutes to work in Kanata by bicycle year round, I strongly urge you to support private members Bill 74 (sponsored by MPP Cheri Dinovo) which is tabled for first reading in the Ontario Legislature. This bill is an important first step towards ensuring cyclist safety in the Province of Ontario.

The proposed amendment to the Highway Traffic Act would require vehicles to keep a safe distance of between 3 and 5 feet when overtaking slower moving cyclists on shared roadways. The proposed amendment makes very specific the requirement that motorists share the road and not just the lane when overtaking cyclists, rather than the current practice of squeezing past narrowly when overtaking cyclists on the roadway. Similar legislation has been codified in several American municipalities, 15 States, and many countries in Europe – such as Germany and France.

I can personally attest that in a collision between a cyclist and a motorist, the outcome always favors the motorist. Motorists in this Province routinely travel at speeds in excess of posted limits, are often distracted by mobile phones and other technological conveniences, and are often very aggressive when overtaking cyclists on the roadway. The serious injuries and deaths of cyclists in our Province, as evidenced by several tragic incidents last summer (E.g. the five cyclists struck in Kanata on a Sunday morning, while riding in a cycling lane) continue to highlight the vulnerability of cyclists exercising their right to utilize the shared roadways.

I can personally attest that in over 20 years of cycling in this Province I have seen the behavior of motorists deteriorate measurably and rapidly. It has never been more dangerous to be a cyclist in this Province than it is today. The proposed amendment to the HTA will provide an important measure towards keeping cyclists safe, and most importantly assigns accountability and culpability to the party who is most often responsible for serious injuries or deaths caused when a motorist collides with a cyclist.

Only our Provincial representatives can amend the HTA legislation. I hope that the cycling community here in Ottawa and throughout Ontario can count on your strong support of the changes proposed in Bill 74.

Kind Regards,