Rules of the road for cyclists

Letters

Editor:

I often ride my bike along Redrooffs Road, into Sechelt and home again. Often, when I’m riding home along Redrooffs, drivers will yell at me to ride on the bike lane, on the opposite side of the road, rather than ride with traffic. What those drivers don’t seem to know is that legally, cyclists are meant to ride with traffic.

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Section 183 of the Motor Vehicle Act states that, “a person operating a cycle on a highway has the same rights and duties as the driver of a motor vehicle.”

DriveSmartBC provides the following guidelines for drivers when encountering a cyclist: “When [cyclists] are overtaken by a motor vehicle, it is the driver’s responsibility to pass the cyclist safely. When you approach a cyclist and prepare to overtake, slow down, just as you would any other vehicle on the road. You need to survey the situation and make sure that it is safe to pass. If you have to wait for a gap in traffic to pass, remember to leave a reasonable following distance between your vehicle and the cycle. Leave at least one metre of space between you and the cyclist as you pass by, more if possible. Don’t return to the right lane until you are safely clear of the passed cyclist … You always have a duty of care as a driver. If in doubt, put yourself in the saddle and pass how you would wish to be passed if you were cycling.”

We enjoy temperate weather on the Coast, and there will always be cyclists on the road, including children, commuters, bike racers, and tourists. So, drivers please slow down and add a few extra seconds to your day to pass a cyclist safely, and please don’t yell at me to ride on the bike lane on Redrooffs, on the wrong side of the road.

Beth Jay, Halfmoon Bay

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