Montreal

Father of dead cyclist Mathilde Blais decries government inaction

Two years after Mathilde Blais, 33, was hit by a truck while cycling through a St-Denis Street underpass her father is speaking out against the government’s inaction.

Mandatory distance between vehicles and cyclists still hasn't been included in Highway Safety Code

A ghost bike was installed at the underpass where Mathilde Blais died in 2014. (Salimah Shivji/CBC)

Two years after 33-year-old Mathilde Blais was hit by a truck while cycling through a St-Denis Street underpass her father is speaking out against the government's inaction.

"If you have the power to do something, do it," Jean Blais told Radio-Canada. "Do something."

The coroner's report following Blais' death recommended a minimum distance between cyclists and vehicles on Quebec roads. The Quebec government hasn't added this to the Highway Safety Code.

"I don't judge the truck driver," Blais said. "Mathilde was in front of the truck."

The truck driver saw the cyclist and moved away from her but part of the trailer hit her as he completed the maneuver and she was crushed.

Some cyclist groups have called for one metre minimum distance, others for a metre and a half.

Following Blais's death the former transport minister, Robert Poëti, put together a working group to modernize the Highway Safety Code, but it never went further than that.

The code "is not really designed for cyclists," Montreal Bike Coalition spokesman Daniel Lambert said.

Montreal recently announced its plan to make Montreal streets safer for cyclists by 2017. Recommendations include making lanes narrower to provide room for a bike path and allowing cyclists to use sidewalks in underpasses.

with files from Radio Canada

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