As Canada hits peak cycling season, the Canadian Automobile Association launched a new national public education campaign encouraging drivers and cyclists to share the road safely. Drivers and cyclists are sometimes seen at odds, but all road users are at their best when following the rules of the road.
"With this campaign, we wanted to improve road safety in a way that felt authentic," says Ian Jack, vice president of Public Affairs at CAA. "Cyclists and drivers sometimes get cranky with each other. That's OK. We don't need a kumbaya moment – but we do want to keep each other safe."
As part of the campaign, CAA urges drivers and cyclists to keep the following tips in mind on the roads this summer, and always:
1. Leave at least one metre of space – more if local law requires it. A cyclist may need to avoid an obstacle, like a pothole, on the side of the road. Leaving space allows everyone to remain safe.
2. Be alert and remain focused at all times. Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of collisions in Canada.
3. Drivers: check your mirrors and blind spots before turning, changing lanes, passing or merging.
4. Be predictable and use your turn signals or hands to show your intentions, and always obey traffic signals and signs. Two-way communications between a driver and a cyclist can save lives.
5. Stay aware of your surroundings when opening doors or biking by parked cars to avoid collisions.
The campaign was developed by Vancouver-based agency One Twenty Three West and can be viewed on the CAA website and social media.
— Canadian Automobile Association