With summer just around the corner and more people out riding their bikes, the Nova Scotia RCMP and the Brain Injury Association of Nova Scotia would like to remind motorists and cyclists that bicycles have a place on the road and we all have a responsibility to keep our roadways safe.
“Cyclists can be very challenging to spot,” says Cpl. Jennifer Clarke, Media Relations Officer with the Nova Scotia RCMP. “We hope that by educating cyclists on proper safety equipment and the rules of the road we will help to reduce the number of collisions. One is too many.”
According to Trauma Nova Scotia, since 2007 there have been 139 bicycle incidents which resulted in major trauma, 54 of these involved collisions with a motor vehicle. There have been nine fatal bicycle incidents, ALL of which involved collisions with a motor vehicle.
“June is also Brain Injury Awareness Month nationwide and we know and see first-hand that cycling accidents are a major contributor to head injuries in Nova Scotia,” says Leona Burkey, Executive Director of Brain Injury Association of Nova Scotia. “In an instant a life can change forever and recovering from a head injury is a long hard road. We urge you to always wear a properly fitted helmet and be risk-aware when cycling.”
In an effort to keep cyclists safe in Nova Scotia there is a one-metre rule that requires drivers to leave one metre of space between their vehicle and a cyclist when driving beside or passing a cyclist. Motorists who do not abide by the one-metre rule are at risk of receiving a hefty fine under the Motor Vehicle Act.
Wondering what you can do to help?
Cyclists, check out these helpful tips to help keep you safe out on the roads:
· Make the proper adjustments to your bicycle and ensure it’s the correct size
· See and be seen – wear a reflective vest or bright clothing
· Have a bell or horn on your bike
· Obey the traffic laws
· Yield to traffic when appropriate
· Use proper hand signals when turning and stopping
· Be predictable
Motorists, keep in mind that even though cars are much bigger than bikes, it’s important to:
· Be alert and make an effort to look for cyclists
· Check for cyclists before turning right or left
· Not honk at a cyclist
· Not take a cyclists speed for granted
· When parking or leaving a parking space, be sure to look for cyclists before opening your door or pulling out on to the road
· Be patient
Remember, we are all on these roads together. Be alert, stay safe!
Source: Media Release