British Columbia

Bikes vs cars: The war needs to stop, says accident victim's friend

When Martin Bell's friend and colleague, Patricia Keenan, died while riding her bicycle, he was shocked to see the discussion revolve around whether it was the car's fault or hers.

'Stop labelling people with, if they are cars or bikes, they are humans,' says event's organizer

Kelowna man wants to end the finger-pointing between cyclists and cars. (David Donnelly/CBC)

When Martin Bell's friend and colleague, Patricia Keenan, died while riding her bicycle, he was shocked to see the discussion revolve around whether it was the car's fault or hers.

 "it was unbelievable to go through the grieving process and watch or listen to it unfold on the radio," said Bell. 

On July 14, Keenan was cycling behind a friend in Kelowna, when someone suddenly opened the driver's side door of a parked car.

Kelowna cyclist Patricia Keenan died after she hit the door of a parked car that suddenly opened.

Keenan, 38, slammed into the door and, despite wearing a helmet, sustained serious head injuries. She died in hospital two days later. 

She had a 10-year-old son. 

Bell, who worked with Keenan, says people were pointing fingers at the time. 

"Losing sight of the fact that this is a human. This is a person and we have lost her. She is a mom. She is a friend. She is a volunteer," he said. 

Recently, the conversation resurfaced when a YouTube video emerged of a cyclist getting doored in Vancouver. 

Bell wants to put an end to the finger pointing so he hosted a speaker series in Kelowna on Thursday.



"Stop labelling people with, if they are cars or bikes, they are humans. Humans operate them. Go back and remember these are people we are dealing with," he said.

Bell says people increasingly are switching between different modes of transportation when they travel and need to change their attitude when it comes to sharing the road.

To hear the full interview listen to the audio labelled Bike vs car: the war needs to stop on the CBC's Daybreak South

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