Tips to help Vancouver drivers avoid killing a cyclist this summer

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      Vancouver police say that an average of 450 cyclists are hurt and three are killed in traffic collisions between June and September every year in the Lower Mainland.

      So the department has released a set of tips for drivers:

      • actively watch for cyclists on the road - make eye contact with cyclists whenever possible to let them know you have seen them
      • shoulder-check for cyclists before turning right and watch for oncoming cyclists before turning left
      • before you or a passenger opens a vehicle door, shoulder-check for cyclists coming from behind
      • before you pull away from the curb, make sure you shoulder-check for cyclists
      • if you need to cross a bike lane to turn right or to pull to the side of the road, signal well in advance and yield to cyclists
      • if you're entering the roadway from a laneway or parking lot, always scan for cyclists and other road users

      It's not always the driver's fault, right? The VPD also put out these tips for cyclists:

      • cycle responsibly
      • plan your route before you go, give yourself plenty of time and choose bike lanes and paths where possible; if you're new to cycling, plan your cycling route and pick routes with less traffic - municipalities often have great maps of bike routes on their websites
      • be aware of what's going on around you at all times and scan ahead for hazards like potholes, gravel, glass and drainage grates; watch for vehicles entering the roadway from laneways and parking lots
      • when turning, shoulder-check well in advance, hand signal and then, with both hands on the handle bars, shoulder check again before turning
      • ride at least one metre away from parked vehicles to avoid being hit by an opening door or a vehicle pulling into your lane from the curb; use caution if you notice someone in the vehicle
      • wear a helmet
      • it's illegal to cycle on most sidewalks and in crosswalks; it puts pedestrians in danger and drivers don't expect cyclists to enter the roadway from a sidewalk
      • get a bell for your bike to help pedestrians hear you
      • when riding at dusk, dawn or at night, your bike must be equipped with a white headlight visible at 150 metres and a rear red light and reflector visible at 100 metres - consider adding more lights to be even more visible.

      Don't worry, pedestrians. The VPD has some tips for you too:

      • always make eye contact with an approaching driver or cyclist before crossing the road, and assume they cannot see you
      • wear bright reflective clothing at night or during poor visibility
      • don’t J-walk – cross roads at crosswalks and obey traffic signals
      • pay Attention – don’t text while walking

      Why don't we all just drive/ride/walk safe this summer?

      Comments

      15 Comments

      ursa minor

      May 26, 2015 at 3:40pm

      None of these should be 'tips' - they should all be enforced regulations punishable in a manner to prevent repeat offense.

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      Dismayed

      May 26, 2015 at 4:07pm

      What a joke! In what parallel universe do the VPD reside where they expect pedestrians to "obey traffic signals"? Here is a hint for you guys. When there are no repercussions for committing an illegal (yes dangerous and stupid too) act, people will NOT stop.

      Try enforcing the signal light crossings for a short time and see if there is an improvement in both safety and traffic flow. If you are able to save ONE life, it will be worth it!

      Matthew Morycinski

      May 26, 2015 at 7:01pm

      And get one of those mirrors that stick to your helmet. It's way better than a mirror on a handlebar, with much wider view. You want to know that someone is about to run you over, right? Tip: quickly pass a flame from a cigarette lighter over the spot where the mirror base is about to be attached, the sticky tape will hold a lot better than it otherwise would.

      Off the Sidewalks!

      May 26, 2015 at 9:10pm

      Only had one driver come onto the sidewalk in my own experience and hundreds of cyclists. Stay off the sidewalks and if you choose to ride on the sidewalk don't complain when you "accidentally" get bumped into the road.

      Impossible

      May 27, 2015 at 9:15pm

      The only thing that will make cyclist s stop and give right of way at intersections is a weelchair.

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      ConcernedCitizen

      May 28, 2015 at 8:38am

      Pay attention and get off your f***ing phone should be a tip for all 3 categories!

      cathy

      May 28, 2015 at 10:13am

      I've seen crazy bike riding and crazy car driving in Vancouver.
      Bikes dart in and out of traffic and drivers make a regular habit of running lights, speeding, changing lanes suddenly usually without signalling, ,texting/using cell phones etc.
      There needs to be a crack down especially on the out of control Vancouver drivers, their stupid behaviour can kill/injure more then themselves. Bike riders being stupid mostly only endanger themselves.
      I live in Ladner and ride a bike there. I would not ride a bike in Vancouver nor drive a car. Vancouver residents seem to have become complacent to the everyday chaos on the streets.

      Don't believe me? Watch the traffic nightmare and 25th and Granville any day/night- 'running the lights' there seems to be a sport. Does anyone care? Or will there have to be a fatal crash before anything is done?
      Yes a few tips might make some more aware but the streets of Vancouver are dangerous-use at your own risk.

      cranky mom

      May 28, 2015 at 10:33am

      pedestrian could use some tips as well.
      1) lift head and look over shoulder before crossing the road.

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      Antony Vega

      May 28, 2015 at 11:19am

      How about "Tips to help Vancouver cyclists avoid creating dangerous situations which could result in harm to their persons through recklessness or incompetence"? The subtext of the headline is "It's always the drivers' fault!!! Cyclists are responsible and conscientious people who, furthermore, deserve a LOT more cost-prohibitive and under utilized infrastructure! Vancouver CAN and should be a "bicycling city" like Amsterdam or Copenhagen!" Stop with the pie-in-the-sky bullshit.

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      share the road

      May 28, 2015 at 1:22pm

      Antony, the statistics actually show that in the majority of car/bicycle accidents cars ARE at fault. Typically turning right in front of, or into cyclists, and the more deadly left turn into the oncoming cyclist (motorcycles #1 killer as well).