Montreal says cyclists don’t have to stop
Montreal says cyclists don’t have to stop – It is difficult to understand the logic – it’s like a stick through the spokes. Montreal’s proposal to give cyclists more freedom in the city has most people, including some cyclists, in an uproar. Perhaps if Montreal cyclists were more responsible in how they share the roads with cars and pedestrians, there might be some sense to it, as it is has worked out well in other cities, but the reality is most are not.
As part of other amendments to Quebec’s Highway Safety Code, the City wants the province to change existing traffic rules to allow cyclists to treat stop signs as yields instead of full stops. It is popularly known as the ‘Idaho Stop’ where cyclists just slow down instead of a full stop (unless there is a pedestrian) and is somehow is intended to protect them from distracted drivers and trucks with blind spots. They also want to allow cyclists to be able to turn right on red lights.
In theory it might work, but in another place and time. We have all seen how cyclists here blatantly ignore the rules already in place. Distracted drivers are to blame for many accidents indeed, but cyclists have hit pedestrians, run red lights and have been the cause of many accidents themselves. Giving the freedom to do so will not make them more responsible. In fact, it might make things worse.
On a positive note, the city wants to ban cyclists from riding while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, as well as raising penalties for those who break the rules in place – and they also want to make side guards mandatory for heavy trucks so cyclists and people are not dragged under them.
They have also proposed that ‘dooring’ should be recognized as a motor vehicle accident by the SAAQ, in order for victims to be better compensated and allow for better statistics.
The city somehow believes the new rules would also ‘change the culture of cyclists to make more eye contact with motorists at intersections and give priority to pedestrians’ and that it would make roads safer for everyone.
To date, Quebec’s Transport Ministry has not said if it will take on the city’s suggestions, in fact they only thing they did say so far, is they will not budge on the proposed red light adjustments.