Car accidents involving cyclists will often involve legal issues requiring the help of a personal injury lawyer. The users of roadways in British Columbia are becoming more diverse. Cars are sharing with bikes that are sharing with pedestrians that are sharing with strollers and wheelchairs. This does not even include the rollerbladers and skateboarders sharing our streets. I’ve posted on bike lane signs and markings in Vancouver and would like to focus on another unknown road marking, “Bicycle & Vertical Lines”.
Most of you are familiar with this following bike route sign:
Personal injury lawyers in BC can often rely on this bike route marking to establish that the injured cyclist was entitled to be riding on that portion of the roadway. However, how many of you know what this sign means?
Well, the above bicycle & vertical lines, according the the City of Vancouver, “indicates that the traffic signal is activated by sensors and shows cyclists where to line up wheels to trigger the signal change.” This of course implies that the cyclist will stop, dismount, and wait his or her turn to go when the light changes. Currently, it is quite common for cyclists to “jaywalk” at any intersection so long as they can see no immediate hazards. Most motorists accepted this because bikes are so much slower than cars and cars or more dangerous to other people than bikes.
Unfortunately there are cyclists that do not believe that the rules of the road apply to them. For example, most motorists in BC would not run a red light simply because there was no opposing traffic, however many have witnessed cyclists in Vancouver doing just that. In order for the bike lanes in downtown to function this type of conduct has to change.
With the benefit to cyclists of having sensor activated signals there is a corresponding obligation to follow these new rules of the road. Posted by Mr. Renn A. Holness
Cyclists are entitled to ride on any part of any roadway regardless if there is a painted bike marker or not. As not all specifically designated bike paths are connected, many cyclists must ride on the unmarked roadways available to them, as it is illegal in some municipalities to ride on the sidewalk (even if legal, it is grossly unfair to pedestrians). Bicyclists are governed by the Motor Vehicle Act, just like motorized vehicles; therefore, it is important that law enforcement take a greater stance in ticketing those cyclists who “jaywalk”, run red lights/stop signs, curb hop, ride without helmet/bell, etc. If law enforcement started enforcing the law on cyclists, maybe these cycling law breakers would start to ride with respect. As a cyclist who commutes five days a week, year round, I follow the road rules for my safety and out of respect for other cyclists, drivers, and pedestrians. I tire of drivers yelling at me to, “Get the f_ck off the road”, when I am not only entitled to ride on the road, but I am not impacting their journey whatsoever – I have two children at home who like me to arrive alive. I also realize that the law breaking cyclists make me look bad…I would applaud law enforcement to become more heavy handed with cyclists. Perhaps Mayor Robertson could do a few PSAs to enlighten the general population that bikes a entitled to travel on ANY roadway as long as they are following the road rules. As well, I welcome the opportunity for cyclists to be insured under entities such as ICBC. Regardless of how you travel, whether by bike, motorized vehicle, or on foot, we should all endeavor to follow the road rules and be more respectful of one another. Let us all share the road people, and may the force be with you!