Ellen’s Law Of­fi­cially Passed in New Brunswick

Pedal Magazine - - Out In Front -

On May 5, royal as­sent was given to “Ellen’s Law” in the New Brunswick leg­is­la­ture, re­quir­ing mo­torists to give cy­clists at least a one-me­tre (39 inches) safe clear­ance when pass­ing.

Cy­cling ad­vo­cates gath­ered at the leg­is­la­ture to cel­e­brate the unan­i­mous pass­ing of the law and com­mem­o­rat­ing the tragic death of Pro­fes­sional cy­clist Ellen Wat­ters in late De­cem­ber 2016. Wat­ters was struck from be­hind by a ve­hi­cle dur­ing a train­ing ride near Sus­sex, N.B. The new law is of­fi­cially rec­og­nized as “An Act Re­spect­ing Ellen’s Law.”

Iron­i­cally, a few days later, New Brunswick po­lice an­nounced that no crim­i­nal charges will be brought for­ward fol­low­ing Wat­ters’ death, cit­ing in­suf­fi­cient ev­i­dence.

Wat­ters rode for Ot­tawa, Ont.-based The Cy­clery-Opus Team for sev­eral years, and had signed with U.S.-based Colavita/Bianchi for 2017. Her tragic death un­leashed an out­pour­ing of sym­pa­thy for the pop­u­lar rider and a re­newed push for stronger laws to pro­tect cy­clists.

Wat­ters dis­tin­guished her­self in 2016, win­ning the Tour of the Bat­tenkill and Tour of Somerville, as well as claim­ing bronze in the Cri­terium at the Cana­dian Road Cham­pi­onships. She also helped her team­mates, one be­ing Tara Whit­ten, who won the over­all at the 2016 Cas­cade Cy­cling Clas­sic.

Apart from her rid­ing prow­ess, Wat­ters was well liked and known for her an­tics.

The tragic loss of Ellen Wat­ters brought the en­tire cy­cling com­mu­nity across Canada to­gether and gal­va­nized sup­port for #El­lenslaw.

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