Roads safer for cy­clists, says Big­gar

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - THE ISLAND - BY RYAN ROSS Ryan.ross@the­guardian.pe.ca Twit­ter.com/ryan­r­ross

P.E.I.’s roads are safer for cy­clists than they were five years, says Trans­porta­tion Min­is­ter Paula Big­gar.

Fri­day marked the fifth an­niver­sary of El­iz­a­beth So­vis’s death af­ter a drunk driver struck and killed her with a van while she was cy­cling on a road near Hunter River.

Big­gar said the leg­is­la­ture passed an amend­ment to the High­way Traf­fic Act in May that re­quires ve­hi­cles to stay at least one me­tre away from a bi­cy­cle when pass­ing.

“Shar­ing the road,” she said.

Af­ter his wife’s death, Ed­mund Aunger said the road the cou­ple was on was not safe for cy­clists and had un­paved shoul­ders. Part of that road has since been widened with more work to come on it and other roads, Big­gar said.

She also said the prov­ince is work­ing with Cy­cling P.E.I. on an ed­u­ca­tion pro­gram and has been de­vel­op­ing bik­ing trails.

Big­gar said the prov­ince has strength­ened its im­paired driv­ing leg­is­la­tion since So­vis’s death.

“If some­body’s drunk, no mat­ter what reg­u­la­tions or laws or what­ever you have in place is not go­ing to pre­vent that,” she said. It takes a com­pre­hen­sive ap­proach to make roads safer for cy­clists, Big­gar said.

“One thing is not go­ing to solve it all.”

RYAN ROSS/THE GUARDIAN

He­lena Aunger gets ready to place a flower on the ghost bike left as a memo­rial at the site of her grand­mother’s death in 2012. Shown next to her is one of So­vis’s sons, Ed­mund.

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