Viewpoint : October 2016

Let’s be more civil to our fellow cyclists!

The lack of civility toward others on the road is blatantly obvious. It seems that you have to go outside Québec to actually see motorists, cyclists and pedestrians heeding traffic regulations. In some places, the difference is so striking that you literally feel as if you’re on another planet!
Cyclists often complain about the lack of respect shown by motorists, but less is said about the lack of respect among cyclists themselves. However the list of offenses is long: speeding on bike paths, overtaking on the left or right without warning, going full-tilt through a stop sign, not signalling a turn and blocking pedestrian walkways. While we are understandably delighted by the increased number of cyclists on our streets, unfortunately we must once again deplore the lack of courtesy and civility among cyclists.
In the fall, there is even more cause for concern, given the alarming number of cyclists circulating at night without lighting. Making yourself seen is important not only for your own safety, but also for that of others.
Remember: Just because city lights (street lamps, store fronts, etc.) help you see the road more clearly doesn’t mean that motorists and other cyclists an see you too. At night, a cyclist without lights is invisible. 
Vélo Québec’s recommendations are simple:
  • Equip your bike with active lighting (white light in front, red light in rear)
  • Equip your bike with reflectors, especially on the wheels
  • Equip your accessories with reflective tape (helmet, pannier, trouser clip, clothing, tires, etc.). 
Biking at night without active lighting is careless and dangerous. It also constitutes a blatant lack of civility toward other road users.
If we all try harder, everybody wins!
Happy fall biking.

Suzanne Lareau
President and CEO