Check out the Northern Life for an article on the Greater Sudbury Police Services safety blitz for June 2013 – pedestrian and cycling safety.
According to the statistics presented in the article, last year there were 80 collisions in Sudbury involving pedestrians (some of them fatal). 29 collisions involved cyclists. Those statistics are much too high!
The first person to comment on the article (the cabby) talks about seeing dangerous cyclists on the road. And he is right. We can complain about how automobile drivers speed and are impatient, but cyclists must also be responsible for their own safety. It’s all about risk management: knowing how to cycle safely in certain situations, avoiding dangerous situations, and having the right skills and knowledge.
From observing cyclists lately, more cyclists cycle illegally than legally in Sudbury. They don’t follow the rules of the road. They cycle the wrong way on a street. They ride on the sidewalks. They don’t wear bright clothing or use a light in the dark. They weave in and out of traffic. They don’t wear helmets. It’s no wonder that automobile drivers don’t know how to deal with these cyclists!
We definitely need more cyclist education in Sudbury. To that note, Rainbow Routes is hosting some CAN-BIKE courses this summer. CAN-BIKE 2, in particular, should be of interest to those cyclists who ride in heavy traffic. It is invaluable in teaching appropriate cycling skills for navigating roads like the Kingsway, Lasalle, Notre Dame, Paris, etc.
Here’s the direct link to the courses offered by Rainbow Routes this year: Safety Courses. Several SCU members are CAN-Bike instructors who are helping to deliver these courses, including Janet Evans, Jamie Lamothe, Rachelle Niemela and Jason Thibeault. Kim Roy is also helping with the Kids Learn to Ride course. We are all committed to promoting safe cycling in Sudbury. If you know of anyone who might benefit from these courses, pass the info on!
And if you regularly ride on busy roads, consider taking CAN-BIKE 2 yourself. There are two dates to chose from during the summer.
If you chose not to take a cycling course, remember the safety mantra of CAN-BIKE:
- SEE – always know what’s going on around you and anticipate what’s happening ahead, especially at intersections and around parked cars
- BE SEEN – use lights at night and wear bright and reflective clothing; be part of the traffic flow and always chose the correct road position while cycling
- BE PREDICTABLE – ride according to the law and obey the rules of traffic; ride in a straight line; and always communicate your intentions with hand signals and eye contact with motorists.