Thursday, May 04, 2006

Reality Check ( NOW Magazine)

What the feds say "We are studying vulnerable road users,'' says Transport Canada department rep Anne-Marie Bouchard.
Our question is What the hell is taking so long? Drivers have a blind zone when cyclists are riding beside them - and Transport Canada has the authority to protect them by legislating side guards tomorrow. Transport Canada also sets vehicle standards for all new vehicles manufactured in or imported into Canada.

Instead, the feds have been foot-dragging, awaiting two studies - one that's part of Road Safety Vision 2010, and the other, expected in 2007, part of a working group with the CAW.
The city's role City Cycling Committee chair Councillor Adam Giambrone says council doesn't have the power to call for side guards on all vehicles but is looking into installing them on city-owned trucks and TTC vehicles. Other "mechanisms" being reviewed are special mirrors and wheel well attachments.
Advocacy for Respect for Cyclists (ARC) says The city's efforts are "meagre attempts to patronize cyclists with excuses and symbolic actions. Had the city taken a leadership role in 1998, Toronto would today be much safer for all those involved.
The cost of installing guards ARC's Darren Stehr estimates $1,500 total per truck would do it.
What other jurisdictions do In the UK and some European countries, side guards on trucks are mandatory.
The consequences more preventable deaths - guaranteed. Twenty-two lives have been lost on Toronto streets to motor vehicles so far this year, more than to the so-called gun crisis. The last five cycling casualties were attributed to truck collisions.
NOW MAY 4 - 10, 2006 VOL. 25 NO. 36

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