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Rally in Support of Canada’s first 3-foot bicycle passing law

Share the Road Cycling Coalition 3 foot passing lawShare the Road Cycling Coalition has been working on a 3-foot passing law for over a year with the NDP and now it’s finally happening. On Tuesday, May 18, NDP Transit critic Cheri DiNovo will introduce a private members bill requiring vehicle drivers to give 3-feet of clearance when passing cyclists.

So-called “3 foot laws” have been passed in 15 U.S. states, and go a long way in educating drivers and making cycling safer in both urban and rural settings.

Cyclists and friends are invited to join in the launch of this Bill at Queen’s Park on Tuesday, May 18:

9:30 am – Rally for Safe Cycling – bring your bikes and your kids and show your support for a new provincial 3 foot law. Front Lawn of the Main Legislature Building, Queen’s Park Circle (just north of College St. and University Avenue)

10:00 am – Media conference. Queen’s Park Media Studio.

For more information, contact Cheri DiNovo’s Queen’s Park Office at 416-325-2044 or [email protected]

3 comments to Rally in Support of Canada’s first 3-foot bicycle passing law

  • This is great news for Canadian cyclists. Kudos to Cheri DiNovo and all the others who are rolling up their sleeves and doing what needs to be done to adopt a 3-foot bicycle passing law.

    Fifteen US states have seen the wisdom and value of having such a law on the books that requires motorists to give cyclists at least 3 feet clearance when passing from the rear. Maryland will become the 16th state on May 20 when their governor signs the bill into law.

    The value of this law isn’t found in giving motorists tickets, but rather, using the law as a tool to help educate motorists on what is considered a safe passing distance—at least 3 feet please.

    Look, most motorists and cyclists get along very well together on our roads (and they are OUR roads). However, we have a lot of work to do to address the problems caused by the irresponsible and disrespecful scofflaws on both sides.

    There will be naysayers will say the law is only a “feel good” law and unenforceable. I say hogwash. Energetic law enforcement agencies who understand their mission to protect and serve the members of their communities waste no time in rolling up their sleeves and finding ways to do their job. And some of the best do it without issuing one single ticket—pure education. (I have a fine example to share).

    So much of the noise surrounding cycling safety issues are focused on the actions of the few motorists and cyclists who just don’t get it. Most motorists and cyclists, thank God, are very respectful and responsible. But there are those few who don’t care about their own safety let alone others’ safety. We argue endlessly about the actions of these few scofflaws on both sides. And while we argue people are getting hurt and killed. Moms and dads and brothers and sisters and just good people are losing their lives because we cannot get it right. We cannot focus our attention on taking reasonable steps to provide “clear standards for behavior and ultimately safer roads for drivers, runners, cyclists, pedestrians and all others.” We have to push aside all the meaningless noise, roll up our sleeves and do whatever we can to give vulnerable road users greater protection in our car centric society. And at the same time we need to let vulnerable road users know that they have rules to follow as well…and they too will be held accountable. Authorities must address the violation of the laws by all road users.

    Indeed, changing motorist behavior will save lives, but it is also important to understand that changing cyclist behavior is where we can make the greatest impact on cyclist safety because cyclists, not motorists have a very strong personal interest in modifying their behavior to be visible and predicable…the keys to safe cycling. Bottom line, cyclists can solve a majority of their own problems by riding visibly and predictably.

    Please, if you are a cyclist or someone who cares about a cyclist, get out there on May 18th for the launch of this Bill at Queen’s Park and make it clear to your government leaders that you expect them to all they can to help make your roads safer. A clear, specific point of reference is far superior in guiding motorist behavior. And let me assure you, if we can get motorists to give cyclists at least 3 feet clearance when passing and do this by using the law as an educational tool, that will be something we can all feel good about.

    The question is really very simple: will a 3 foot law save cyclists’ lives? The answer is, YES. So, you know what to do. Make it happen, please. Lives are at stake.

    I’m cheering you on.

    Joe Mizereck
    “3 Feet Please” Campaign
    [email protected]

  • SsmAnyfeSt

    I don’t know if you heard about it but 3 women died today in Quebec! A man and 2 women also hurt. A young guy hit the 6 cyclists on the road….pretty sad day here! :( (on news, they said we have a law about that…true!?! but they said 1,5 meter (about 5feet).

    Good luck with your 3foot law everywhere in Canada!

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