Viewpoint : May 2013

La rue pour tous

This is the theme of the sharing the road campaign we’ve been conducting in several Québec elementary schools, but it is mainly a code of conduct for biking.

When people are asked why they don’t bike, the safety issue resurfaces 9 times out of 10. What exactly is the situation? Despite the increase in cycling over the past 25 years, the number of accidents continues to decrease. Among others, accidents (deaths and serious injuries) have declined by 22% over the past 5 years.

Safety is a recurring and highly emotional theme. Excessive media coverage of cycling accidents makes us believe that it is more dangerous to ride a bike than to drive a car. There are 27 times more car fatalities than bike fatalities, yet the use of cars is rarely called into question.

So what factors contribute most to cyclists’ safety? First, the development of bicycle-friendly environments, such as bike paths and lanes, and the reduction of car speeds. Secondly, the behaviour of cyclists and motorists, among others, and compliance with the Highway Safety Code. For example, did you know that while lighting is mandatory on bikes ridden at night, barely 25% are properly equipped? The fact that nocturnal accidents are underrepresented is good reason to install these small life-saving lights.

It’s up to all users to share the road responsibly throughout the year. To refresh your knowledge at the start of this season, we suggest that you view the video clips we created at partagelaroute.com.

Sharing the road is a daily concern.