Cyclists have the right of way

CyclistSeveral weeks ago the media (including ICBC) reported over and over that cyclists have the "right of way". Whether it was the editing or just ICBC's position, there was no elaboration on what that exactly means.

From reading online and talking to many people including cyclists, this reinforced their belief that that cyclists can do whatever they want...which is what most do now. They don't stop at red lights or stop signs, they are inconsiderate on the road when it comes to vehicles or even pedestrians. When driver's tell them they should be stopping at a red light or stop sign, cyclists give them the finger. I was listening to the CBC one day and a lawyer said that case law shows that it is very hard to prove cyclist fault even when a pedestrian becomes hurt as a result of the cyclist's actions eg. cyclist riding on the sidewalk and hitting a pedestrian.

Since the trend is going green, it seems that cyclists can get away with almost anything, even riding their e-Scooter or Ebike really fast on the sidewalk which I see very often.

Right of Way - Drivers and Cyclists

Drivers and cyclists have the same rights and duties under the Motor Vehicle Act.

Rights and duties of operator of cycle

183 (1) In addition to the duties imposed by this section, a person operating a cycle on a highway has the same rights and duties as a driver of a vehicle.

One only has the right of way over the other when the rules say so. There is no blanket granting of right of way to one or the other.

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You are quite wrong to tar all cyclists with the same brush. When driving full-time for Coast Mountain Bus in Vancouver, I frequently saw motorists and cyclists driving/riding carelessly or dangerously, rolling through stop signs and speeding. I do not excuse the bad behaviour exhibited by some cyclists, but was more worried by the greater danger that bad motorists caused to other road users. For some reason, Friday afternoons seemed to be the worst.  I hated to see people red run lights not only because of the danger to themselves and others, but, if the offender is a cyclist, because such behaviour is used by some people to justify dangerous harassment of law-abiding cyclists who do not run red lights. Motorists and cyclists alike all need to learn that cyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as other vehicles, must follow the signs, be predictable, and must be treated with the same respect that is taken for granted by other vehicle users. 


There is a potload of arrogance on both sides of this argument.

Full disclosure: I am both a motorist and a cyclist. I have spent some years commuting both ways, and Monday mornings and Friday afternoons are the worst. No question in my mind.

Last week I saw something that baffled me, though: A bicyclist travelling south down BC hwy#97 around 68-mile (north of Clinton) in the southbound lane - not on the 2m-wide shoulder - who failed to yeild the lane to motor traffic, even though there was a far, far safer option. I wonder if he read the media report to which the OP refers.

I thought - briefly - of hanging back and waiting for the inevitable, because I could have rendered first aid. But then I thought, "What if he survives?"