Manitoba

Winnipeg cyclist captures dangerous encounters with drivers on camera

A Winnipeg cyclist has been riding his bike around the city with two GoPros, one on his helmet, the other on the back of his bike.

Ian Walker has been collecting road data on Winnipeg drivers since August

A Winnipeg cyclist who has been riding his bike around the city with two GoPros, one on his helmet, the other on the back of his bike. He says he's had about 20 close calls and has proof of the kind of dangerous encounters cyclists have with motor vehicles. 1:49

A Winnipeg cyclist has been riding his bike around the city with two GoPros, one on his helmet, the other on the back of his bike.

He says he's had about 20 close calls and has proof of the kind of dangerous encounters cyclists have with motor vehicles.
Ian Walker rides through traffic with a go-pro attached to his helmet and to the back of his bike to capture dangerous Winnipeg drivers in action (Cliff Simpson/CBC)

Ian Walker has been collecting data for MPI for the past five months. He says the public insurer plans to use the video as an educational tool for new drivers.  

Walker says it's been an eye-opening experience, even for him. 

"It's very scary. I often think of my wife and my kids and my family after things like that happen. I recognize that I'm vulnerable and I might not come home," he said.

But that doesn't deter him from biking to and from work every day, and to any errand he needs to run. His biking includes recreational runs with his two children in tow in a child carrier.
Cyclist Ian Walker has been collecting video data for MPI for the past five months. He says the public insurer plans to use his GoPro footage as an educational tool for new drivers. 1:14

Drivers play 'chicken'

"Drivers either driving too close to me or cutting me off, or playing chicken with me when we're driving down a residential ... Often times when I have the right of way because I'm a smaller vehicle, vehicles will try to force me over so that they can continue on," said Walker.
"It's very scary. I often think of my wife and my kids and my family after things like that happen. I recognize that I'm vulnerable and I might not come home," said Ian Walker (Cliff Simpson/CBC)


On the plus side, he said having cameras - which are clearly visible - has "significantly" reduced the number of road rage incidents he experiences as a cyclist.

"It allows them to understand there's this silent witness recording what they're doing," he said.

Walker welcomes new legislation giving cyclists a one-meter berth between them and drivers. Currently, the rule in Manitoba is that drivers simply keep a "safe distance" while passing.

"There's a lack of enforcement currently, with the current laws," Walker said.

Cyclists break the rules, too

"At the end of the day, what we'll always be working for ... is to have every level of government go in and build cycling infrastructure," he said.

Just as not all drivers drive dangerously on the road, he says not all cyclists ride safely either.

"Obey stop signs, obey traffic lights, don't ride the wrong way down one way streets, don't ride on the sidewalk," he says to cyclists.

He'll continue to be out on the roads with his cameras until August. He hopes he doesn't capture too many more dangerous moments.

"It doesn't take long to take the time to pass somebody safely. If you don't though, the repercussions will last a lifetime."

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