Bikers are back – be be careful! careful!
The second edition of the successful Faisons équipe et partageons la route campaign is now underway, the campaign that aims to inform drivers of vehicles as well as bicyclists about safety rules of the road. This campaign is especially important in the Eastern Townships since the region, with its beautiful vistas and winding roads, is becoming a tourist destination for more bicyclists every year and is the region of choice for ‘cyclotourists’ who spend an average of $175 a day while vacationing here. Actually, more than $32 million is injected into our economy annually by these tourists, explaining why Tourisme Cantons de l’Est has asked the ministry of Transport to pave more of the soft shoulders in the region.
Quebec’s road safety code stipulates that: bikers must ride in single file on the right side of the road in the same direction as the traffic; that drivers must leave a safe space between their vehicle and the bikers, 1 metre on paved roads and 1.5 metres on gravel roads, when passing cyclists; and drivers may cross over a continuous line on the road, when it is safe, when passing cyclists.
In Estrie, between 2005 and 2010, 343 cyclists were involved in accidents with four deaths. In the year 2010 alone, there were 56 accidents with one death and four badly injured.