Get along on roads

Not only cyclists need to take care while sharing the roadways

The BC Motor Vehicle Act says that cyclists have the same rights and duties as drivers of vehicles and are a legitimate and recognized part of traffic. While the Act also states that it is illegal for cyclists to ride side by side on the roadway, it is permitted on the shoulder of the highways.

Of course, Weld Street (The News, May 8) is a very short and busy street. There are many businesses, residences and it presently has a fairly intense construction site.

Yes, bicycle riders lawfully need to signal their every move as both an act of courtesy and self preservation.

But maybe the ‘Java’ bound cyclists were harbingers of a need to reduce the speed limit to 30 kph as a cautionary move to protect one and all, especially pedestrians who must navigate the one block street with no sidewalk, fraught with high density activity.

Group riding cyclists are socializing while exercising, whereas car drivers are destination determined, listening to their stereo and otherwise distracted by texting, cell phone use, eating, drinking coffee, plus possibly deep in emotional conversation with passengers. Sometimes they also don’t signal. Sometimes their brake and/or signal bulbs are non functional.

Perhaps a solution would be to have two-way, hands-free radio sets as employed by motorcyclists for communicating.

Even though the individual cyclist is part of a group, he/she is still responsible to obey the laws and ride defensively. However, the group dynamic is complex requiring extra communication skills (yelling or hand signals) from back to front — flat tire or “carback” as well as front to back to inform others of hazards up ahead — road debris/condition or car door.

Please be safe out there.

Gord Byers

 

Parksville