Cyclist safety fears prompt review of Quebec road laws
Transport Minister Robert Poëti says high number of cyclist-involved crashes worrisome
Olympian Louis Garneau will head a new committee tasked with finding ways to make Quebec's traffic laws safer for cyclists.
The province is looking to eventually amend its highway traffic code.
Transport Minister Robert Poëti said he is worried about the high number of collisions involving cyclists, trucks and pedestrians in the past three months.
The province is setting up a committee, headed by former Olympic cyclist Garneau, to examine ways to modernize the highway safety code to improve road-sharing.
“I think it’s time to do something," Garneau said.
"The last weekend was the first time my [cycling] group had cars to follow us because we feel uncomfortable on the road. It was the first time the cars had a good respect for us."
Committee members will primarily be from the cycling community, but there will also be input from police, doctors and drivers, Poëti said.
I think it’s time to do something- former Olympic cyclist Louis Garneau
“We have a responsibility to express to everyone what the rules are, what is the best way to do it,” he said.
“I don’t think a law is going to change everything. It’s more a question of attitude, respect and sharing the road all together.”
The issue of cycling safety again pressed to the forefront this spring after 33-year-old Mathilde Blais was struck by a truck and killed while cycling under the Des Carrières viaduct on St-Denis Street.
In April, Montreal City Hall unanimously adopted a motion calling for the Highway Safety Code to be updated to account for the growing presence of cyclists on urban roadways.
It recommended the code better reflect the current reality of city streets and ensure cyclists are protected.
According to Montreal police, there are an average of 650 collisions involving cyclists every year on its territory.
Across Québec, 19 cyclists were killed, 114 were seriously injured and 1,768 sustained minor injuries on the roads in 2013.