Viewpoint : September 2018

On the road, our safety is linked together

Is biking simply a matter of knowing how to pedal? The answer is no. It also involves flawed infrastructures, mandatory coexistence with vehicles of all sizes, complex interactions – all of which require constant vigilance… and a certain understanding of road dynamics. Even though many of us have a driver’s license, this doesn’t always prepare us for the unique aspects of two-wheel travel. I cringe, for example, when I see a cyclist weaving between a truck and the sidewalk or speeding down a busy street. And what about those who still go cycling after dark with no lights on their bike!
This month, in order to make cyclists aware of these realities and remind them of their obligations and inform them about good biking practices, we are launching the campaign On the road, our safety is linked together. While our road safety record shows significant progress over the past twenty years, there is still room for improvement. And we must all do our part. According to a 2014 SPVM report on collisions between cyclists and motorists, 43% were caused by cyclists and 57% by motorists.
In addition to underlining these often tragic collisions, this campaign is also an appeal to everyone for civility. We are regularly contacted by citizens who feel that cyclists don’t always respect the rules, as well as by cyclists who do not feel adequately informed about the cycling code of conduct. Since safety has been the focus of Vélo Québec’s mission for 51 years, we hope that this campaign will encourage cyclists to bike responsibly.
The Fonds de la sécurité routière du Québec is collaborating with us on this campaign. We also have the support of other natural partners, including Québec’s nine public transit authorities - all members of the Association des transports urbains (ATUQ), and the Groupe Robert trucking company. Several other organizations will also be relaying the campaign’s messages. This kind of teamwork is sure to drive home the fact that, on the road, our safety is linked together.

Suzanne Lareau
President and CEO