Meeting with OPP on Road Safety

IMPORTANT UPDATE
 

In response to the OPP incident on June 10th and the Toronto Star article on July 21, we have had a meeting with Inspector Shannon and her Staff Sargent’s on July 11,  and a follow up meeting with Regional Superintendent Smyth and Inspector Shannon on July 25. 


We are happy to report that these meetings were both very positive and very constructive. We took this opportunity to explain the unique and sometimes toxic environment that all cyclists experience on occasion.

While cyclists are legally equal road users in the eyes of the law, we are nonetheless ‘Vulnerable Road Users’ and for this reason we need to adopt certain defensive cycling practices to enhance our safety.

We are very encouraged by both Inspector Shannon’s and Superintendent Smyth’s receptiveness to our concerns. We were informed that the Attorney General’s office has stated that the Highway Traffic Act (HTA) allows for 2 Abreast riding. With that legal opinion in mind, we are hopefully in the process of working out a formal understanding of a ‘Defensive Cycling Practice’ that is compatible with the HTA and can be used as a template for safe cycling across the entire Province.

Clearly this project is a work in progress but it was unanimously agreed that a critical component is more education for all parties, the police, motorists and cyclists. A very important process has begun and we are excited by the possibilities. We will keep you posted. 

There were comments in the Star article that do not reflect club policy. Comments about NIMBYism and class differences are not club policy and we do not support comments that pit cyclists and motorists against each other.  Collingwood is a great community. About 70% of our members are local residents who come from all walks of life. We are united in our passion for cycling together and our respect for all road users. 

Please note that on Saturday morning we have 2 special guests, OPP Superintendent Jim Smyth, who is himself an avid cyclist, and Inspector Shannon, who will say a few words prior to our ride at 8:30am.


A notice to all our Ride Leaders and Members: We have a new stop sign protocol


Stopping at stop signs is essential and non-negotiable
But crossing the intersection is the trick. In our discussion with the OPP it was agreed that 1) it’s legal to cross en mass and 2) it’s in everyone’s best interest that our group crosses en mass. It’s safer and more efficient when done properly.
Crossing en mass has its challenges, namely that the riders actually have to be paying attention and ready to go!!!

Here’s how we see it working: the ride leader will call out and ensure everyone comes to a full stop, not a track stand stop or pause but foot down stop. If there are cars, he will motion the cars to pass through. It is critical that all riders stop and regroup before crossing en mass. It is absolutely essential that riders pay attention and cross TOGETHER. Missing the signal and breaking up into 2 groups at an intersection is extremely confusing to the waiting motorists.

Please note that crossing en mass may not be possible at 2 way intersections. Busy 2 way stop intersections such as crossing 124, 91 and 2 may not allow for en mass crossing because the cars don’t stop and the gaps in traffic may not allow for that. In these situations please be extra cautious and only cross as many riders as it is safe to do so. 

Summary

 Ride Leaders, please make your calls loud and clear and make sure you don’t cross until your riders have stopped, regrouped and are ready. 
Riders, please stop and pay attention. Be ready for the signal to go and then go without hesitation. If you missed the move then wait until it’s your turn again. You will have time to catch your group later.