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Are Cyclists A Lower Priority Than Turtles?

[In our February issue I encouraged people to advocate to make our roads safer for cyclists. This is the letter I wrote to the Ontario Government in support of Bill 118 and Bill 126.]

Trevor Day (Committee Clerk)
Room 1405, Whitney Block/Bureau 1405, édifice Whitney
Queen’s Park, Toronto, ON M7A 1A2

RE: Bill 118, Countering Distracted Driving and Promoting Green Transportation Act, 2008
Bill 126, Road Safety Act, 2008.

February 12, 2009.

Dear Trevor Day,

I’m writing in support of Bill 118 and Bill 126 on behalf of Women’s Cycling.ca. I live just outside the beautiful town of Perth. When I cycle I ride through rolling country hills on divided highways. These highways aren’t busy like the streets of Toronto, but motorists still whiz by too fast and too close, putting cyclists at risk.

In the spring turtles lay their eggs in the soft gravel shoulders of our roads. Because of this there are many signs along the highways warning drivers of the impending danger of squashing a turtle as it lumbers across the road.

While I applaud our government for protecting turtles, I can’t help but wonder why it doesn’t have the same concern for cyclists. If we can afford signs to protect wildlife, why can’t we have signs to warn motorists to reduce their speed and give a wide berth to cyclists? Are cyclists a lower priority than turtles?

I support this bill to counter distracted driving, and any other bills that will make our roads safer for cyclists, runners and pedestrians.

Yours Sincerely,

Laurel-Lea Shannon, Editor
Women’s Cycling.ca

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