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More enforcement needed over new road bylaws: Richmond cyclist

B.C. updates regulations to keep cyclists, and vulnerable road users safe.
New provincial regulations for drivers passing cyclists on the road.

A new provincial law to keep cyclists and vulnerable road users safe may not be helpful if it isn't enforced, according to a Richmond resident.

Chris Clarke, an avid cyclist in Richmond and Metro Vancouver, told the Richmond News enforcement of road safety laws will help cyclists and other road users rather than additional bylaws.

B.C.'s Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure announced on April 4 that the Motor Vehicle Act has new regulations for vehicles, e-bike users and those on mobility devices.

The new regulations stipulate drivers must keep a distance of one metre when passing cyclists and vulnerable road users, with the distance increasing to 1.5 metres on highways with posted speed limits above 50 kilometres per hour.

In addition, the provincial government created a new lower-powered class of e-bikes that allows people ages 14 and older to use e-bikes with less power, lower maximum speeds and motors that only work with pedalling.

These regulations will come into effect on June 3.

"They've got all kinds of regulations, but the problem is they don't enforce any of them," said Clarke.

"So the electric scooters, electric bikes and bike lanes are more dangerous than they used to be because they don't enforce any of the bylaws."

Clarke added it can be dangerous to enter intersections, especially when vehicles don't obey traffic lights or signs.

"There's always cars running red lights. When you enter an intersection you've got to stop and look to make sure before you go through. It's scary sometimes."

Laura Jane, executive director at Hub Cycling, said the amendments to the Motor Vehicle Act will better protect all road users.

"When more people take active and healthy transportation, our communities become happier, healthier and more sustainable," said Jane.

The B.C. government has also added regulations clarifying that, under the Motor Vehical Act, mobility devices are an extension of the person (pedestrian) using it.

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