Vancouver’s Cyclists Will Enjoy Safer Streets

Recent studies confirm Vancouver is not a mobile-friendly city ranking it 46th out of 122 cities around the globe. However, Vancouver cyclists will enjoy safer road conditions this fall with changes to the BC Motor Vehicle Act.

According to the Vancouver Sun, a committee is expected to make recommendations to the provincial government about updates to the Motor Vehicle Act that would make it “more friendly to vulnerable road users.” The committee is composed of local personal injury lawyers, the BC Cycling Coalition, HUB: Your Cycling Connection, and the Trial Lawyers Association of BC.

Recommendations include:

  • Increasing fines for opening a door into the path of a cyclist to as much as $1000.
  • Allowing cyclists to travel on paved shoulders
  • Requiring drivers in motor vehicles to keep a distance of one metre when passing cyclists.
  • Increasing fines for cyclists that don’t have lights on the front and back of their back.

Opening your car door on a cyclist (dooring) is illegal. but almost no one gets charged according to Global News. Vancouver police issued 22 tickets for the offence between 2009 and 2013. In the same period, 370 dooring incidents were reported to ICBC. And that figure only includes serious incidents that trigger claims. The fine for dooring in Vancouver is $81 plus two driver penalty points.

ICBC’s interactive crash map notes that 1500 BC cyclists were injured and 13 cyclists were killed in 2013 in car crashes involving cyclists.

For more information:

  • Changes coming to Motor Vehicle Act to benefit cyclists, Vancouver Sun
  • Bike-friendly cities report ranks Vancouver 46th, News 1130
  • People seldom charged when cyclists get ‘doored,” Vancouver data shows, Global News 

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James Richards
James Richards is a born and raised Vancouverite who studied History, Political Science and Law at University of British Columbia. His over 20 years of legal practice and a busy and active family gives him his purpose, focus and some good writing material. When not in work–mode, he enjoys any excuse to be out and about our amazing city.