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Letters: All Richmond road users need to obey the rules

A letter writer urges cyclists, drivers and pedestrians to stay 'focused on the task in hand.'
Letter writer urging all cyclists, pedestrians and drivers to pay attention on the road for safety's sake.

Dear Editor,

Re: "More enforcement needed over new road bylaws: Richmond cyclist"

Once again, controversy in the cycling world is in the news, both locally and regionally. 

As a multiple road user (driver, cyclist and pedestrian), hopefully I can have a somewhat balanced perspective on the current issues facing us.

Firstly, a recent ruling from the BC Motor Vehicle branch states that drivers now have to give cyclists at least one metre of space when passing. However, especially on narrower roads, this is simply not possible and could be downright dangerous, forcing drivers to veer into oncoming traffic.

This does not bode well for the safety of any road users!

Unfortunately, cyclists are notorious for not using the infrastructure that has been purpose-built for them.

For example, there is a beautiful separated bike path on the west side of No. 2 Road in Richmond, from the south dyke to Steveston Highway, which is seldom, if ever, used, particularly by the lycra-clad community.

They would rather be on the main road, holding drivers hostage by not riding in single file, preferring to go along in a mass pack. Even single cyclists seem to take delight in riding down the centre of the road, making it impossible to pass.

This kind of behaviour makes me embarrassed to be a fellow cyclist.

Secondly, many cyclists apparently think that the rules of the road don't apply to them - I cannot tell you the number of times I have witnessed cyclists flying through intersections with stop signs or red lights, just because there isn't a car in the immediate vicinity about to run them over.

Can you imagine the mayhem that would ensue if drivers decided to go through any intersection they pleased without pausing, stopping or looking? They would be heavily fined at best, and would cause carnage at worst.

Somehow, these arrogant, selfish types think they are above the law.

On the rare occasions when I have seen a cyclist "doing the right thing," I have longed to stop him and congratulate him, but the shock might cause him to fall off and I wouldn't want him to be injured!

Then there are those who are clearly not focused on the task in hand (and this applies across the board, to ALL road users) - frequently plugged into earbuds, engrossed in a cellphone or otherwise distracted.

Just this morning, I passed a man cycling along busy Steveston Highway, with no helmet on, earbuds in situ and swerving out into my lane as he reached for his cellphone. Thankfully, I was fully awake and concentrating, and therefore able to avoid a collision.

Please, everyone out there who drives, cycles or walks, pay attention and let's keep each other safe.

Surely this is our civic duty?

Carlie Holland


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