Sun’s out, bikes out, right? It’s a joy to get on your bike and spin around the city – soaking up the rays and feeling the breeze in your face. But before you pedal your way around, it’s a good idea to brush up on your safety tips and know the rules of the road.
Summer brings a spike in bike related crashes and accidents. ICBC stats show that between June and September of every year, 740 people are hurt and seven die in collisions between cars and cyclists. That’s six injured people per day! We need to share the road but we also need to share the responsibility for putting safety first.
If you’re our there biking on one of the beautiful and scenic trails throughout British Columbia or in Vancouver’s network of protected bike lanes, there are a few basics you need to do to keep yourself out of harms way:
- Wear a helmet – it’s the law in BC and you can get fined up to $100 without one.
- Wear something reflective and have a light for biking after the sun sets or on cloudy days
- Stick to the bike paths – crosswalks and sidewalks are for pedestrians
Always obey the rules. That means going with the right flow of traffic, sticking within speed limits, and following all signs as posted. Need to brush up on what the rules for cyclists are in BC? Check the government website for full details.
While it isn’t the law in BC, you should also follow the “One Meter Rule” when it comes to biking beside cars. You don’t want to slam into an opening car door or a pedestrian slipping through a few parked cars. Give yourself room to avoid the risk of a crash.
For more information
- Bike lanes versus nature a conundrum, Vancouver Sun
- Cyclists and Sharing the Road During the Summer, New Car Dealers of BC
- David Suzuki: Bicycling never gets old, Georgia Straight