Cyclists are NOT Second Class Road Users
I read a story in the Victoria Times Colonist this morning regarding crashes involving motor vehicles and cyclists using the Galloping Goose trail. The article was prompted by a cyclist who had ridden across Kelvin Road and was struck by a driver who had stopped for the stop sign and then failed to yield to the cyclist. There is a crosswalk painted across the Kelvin where the trail crosses.
The Motor Vehicle Act (MVA) says it all in one statement: "...a person operating a cycle on a highway has the same rights and duties as a driver of a vehicle." Strictly speaking, both Kelvin Road and the Galloping Goose Trail are highways within the meaning of the MVA. This effectively means that the cyclist on the Trail had every reason to expect the driver to remain stopped as they crossed with caution, in the same way that they would at the intersection of two "regular" streets having a two way stop.
The conversation posted by readers at the end of the article is illustrative of the confusion many people have with the basic rules of the road. Chief among them at the time I read it was that the cyclist should have dismounted and walked across the crosswalk. This is only the case where a bylaw does not permit a cyclist to ride in a crosswalk and the City of Victoria has done this in the Streets and Traffic Bylaw.
To give the driver the benefit of a doubt, this may simply have been a mistake of either not seeing the cyclist and making the connection that the driver had to wait until the cyclist had crossed safely in front of them, just like a two vehicle collision in a "regular" two way stop intersection. However, it is possible that the driver felt entitled because they considered that the cyclist was a second class road user and had to yield to motor vehicles. If that is the case, the driver needs to re-evaluate their perception of sharing the road with cyclists.
- Articles Related to Cycling on DriveSmartBC
- Rights and Duties of Operator of Cycle - Section 183 Motor Vehicle Act
- Failing to Yield After Stop - Section 175(1) Motor Vehicle Act