Motorists and cyclists need to be more tolerant of one another, says a Sooke resident.
Renaat Marchand is both a motorist and a cyclist, and says he has seen attitude issues coming from both parties.
He described an incident that happened to him recently while out cycling where a driver behind him followed closely while honking, and then proceeded to aggressively speed by, almost running him off the road.
“I have a right to be on the road, and that’s harassment,” Marchand said.
Because there aren’t many bike lanes in Sooke, Marchand said people should be more patient with each other.
“If people are that frustrated when they see a cyclist, maybe that’s a reflection of how they are feeling in their own life,” Marchand said.
“It seems to me like maybe they aren’t getting enough exercise, or aren’t venting enough, and then they are letting that aggressive energy out when they are behind the wheel.”
Marchand said he’s also noticed cyclists being inconsiderate of drivers, and not following the rules of the road, explaining that sometimes pairs of cyclists will ride side by side making it hard for cars to pass them.
Const. Mike Halskov, media spokesperson for B.C. Traffic Services, said the main problem comes from a lack of understanding from both parties, about the rules that need to be followed to ensure everyone’s safety.
He said according to section 183 of the Motor Vehicle Act, which addresses cyclists and their rights and duties, a cyclist must not ride on a sidewalk or a crosswalk, ride side by side with another cyclist, have more than one person on a single-person bike, keep both hands on the handlebars, or ride on a highway where signs prohibit the use.
“Bicycle riders must also obey all the rules of the road just the same as a person driving a car would,” Halskov said. “All the same rules apply, and they have just as much of a right to be on a road as a car does.”
He added that it is important for drivers to be patient when wanting to pass a cyclist, to slow down and match the speed of the cyclist when coming up behind them, and leave the bike rider enough space when going around them.
“When we aren’t tolerant of one another, it creates more stress on the roads and that’s when accidents can happen,” said Marchand.
“Especially in summer is when more cyclists will be out on the road, it’s important for everyone to be well educated and stay safe.”