VANCOUVER, B.C. — ICBC is urging drivers and cyclists to take extra care on the roads as we near Bike to Work Week, which runs May 29th to June 4th.
Across the province, 740 cyclists are injured and seven are killed in car crashes from June to September every year. In the North Central region, an average of 28 cyclists are injured every year.
“We sponsor Bike to Work Week as an opportunity to educate both drivers and cyclists alike,” said Lindsay Matthews, ICBC’s director responsible for road safety. “It’s part of our commitment to support programs in communities throughout the province. Whether you’re on a bike or in a car, please look out for each other and share the road.”
Tips for drivers:
- Don’t get distracted. Watch for cyclists on the road and make eye contact if you can, so they can anticipate your next move.
- Yield the right-of-way. Yield to cyclists and signal well in advance if you need to cross a designated bike lane or pull over to the side of the road.
- Look out. Shoulder check for cyclists before turning right and watch for oncoming cyclists before turning left. Scan for cyclists before you enter the roadway from an alley or get in and out of a parking spot.
- Dooring is dangerous. Both drivers and passengers must shoulder check for cyclists before opening doors. Not only will it keep cyclists safe, it will help you avoid a dooring violation and fine too.
- Keep a safe distance. Maintain at least three seconds behind cyclists and at least one metre when passing a cyclist. Don’t risk side-swiping or running a cyclist off the road.
Tips for cyclists:
- Start at the top. Wearing an approved bicycle helmet that meets safety standards is the law in B.C. and you could be fined for not wearing one. Focus on how it fits: it should be snug, but not uncomfortable, and should not be able to roll off of your head when the chin strap is secured.
- Reflect on safety. Be extra visible with reflective gear on your bicycle pedals and wheels.
- Bike lanes are best. Use designated bike routes whenever possible – they’re safer and reduce conflicts with vehicle traffic. Check your local municipality’s website for designated bike routes or visit TransLink.ca for maps of cycling routes in Metro Vancouver.
- Stay off the sidewalk. If there’s no bike lane, keep to the right-hand side of the road as much as it’s safe to do so. It’s illegal to ride on most sidewalks and crosswalks. It puts pedestrians in danger and drivers don’t expect cyclists to enter the roadway from a sidewalk.
- Follow the rules of the road. Make sure you obey all traffic signs and signals and rules of the road.
- Use caution around parked vehicles. Be aware of people in vehicles as well as taxis to avoid getting hit by an opening door. It’s best to keep at least once metre away from parked vehicles.
- Shoulder check. Before making any turns, shoulder check and hand signal in advance. Remember, drivers sometimes fail to yield right-of-way.