Moncton council unanimously supports 'Ellen's Law'

Dozen’s of supporters wearing bicycle helmets gave council a round of applause at Monday’s meeting Moncton after a resolution supporting 'Ellen’s Law' passed unanimously.

Supporters wore bike helmets during council's reading of 'Ellen's Law'

Supporters of Ellen's Law wore their bicycle helmets during council's reading of the resolution. It was passed unanimously on Monday night. (Pierre Alexandre Bolduc/Radio Canada)

Dozens of supporters wearing bicycle helmets gave council a round of applause at Monday's city council meeting in Moncton, after a resolution supporting 'Ellen's Law' passed unanimously. 

Ellen Watters died after being involved in a collision with a vehicle on Dec. 23, 2016 while on a training run in Sussex.

Cathy Manuel, who was dressed in her cycling jersey, says supporters decided to don their bike gear to show council that bicycle safety matters to people.

"There's a whole array of cyclists who came out in support of this resolution."
Cathy Manuel is an avid cyclist lobbying to have a law enacted that would require drivers give cyclists at least one meter of space on New Brunswick roads. (Tori Weldon/CBC)

Manuel said this resolution is because more people are choosing to cycle, whether for transportation, recreation, or fitness.

"If we want people to get out there, New Brunswick has to be proactive in making sure that those people are safe in doing those activities."

Sheila Cameron, also an avid cyclist and lobbyist for 'Ellen's Law', told council the movement to have a law enacted in Watters' name started the day the 28-year-old-woman died from the collision.

"We do know she was hit from behind by a car on a rural road outside of Sussex. She was hospitalized and died five days later."

Groups were formed in Moncton and Saint John.

Saint John passed a similar resolution last week.
Sheila Cameron presented Ellen's Law to Moncton city council on Monday night. (Tori Weldon/CBC)

'Ellen's law' would require vehicles to give one metre of space to cyclist travelling in the same direction. 

"That's a lot of space, and there's people here with their helmets on tonight that would tell you that we're very happy when we get one meter and would also tell you we don't always get one meter," said Cameron.

"It's very scary when you're in a small bicycle with no protection and a car buzzes by you too close."

Councillors voted unanimously in favour of the resolution. 

But for 'Ellen's law' the province has to get on board. Manuel said her group has spoken to Denis Landry, minister of public safety.

"I think we will see some action," said Manuel. "What the timelines look like I don't know."