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LETTER: All road users should be on best behaviour


In response to the article about cyclists becoming a nuisance, I would like to respond first with an apology to any driver, cyclist or pedestrian I’ve offended. I will be the first to admit, I’ve not always put my best foot forward in my capacity as a cyclist, driver or pedestrian. I am not an offensive person and I would rather not give a negative impression while participating in any form of transport.

Having said that, I could count on one hand those moments when I’ve let slip and not been a role model. I lose count on how often I’ve been impacted by motor vehicular behaviour. I won’t provide isolated or personal examples; I did visit BC Stats to find metrics documented on vehicular behaviour. The year 2021 saw 296 fatalities and 13,924 injuries. I couldn’t, however, find a section on cyclists and the accidents they cause.

Yes, cyclists can be rude, belligerent, and may not follow the rules of the road at times – I’ve seen it! I also know providing people with a licence doesn’t provide a blanket cure for personality or attitude. I’ve been both a victim and perpetrator of less-than-polite language I wouldn’t use in front of children. I reserve that privilege when driving alone with closed windows. I drive with a belief nothing is so important I need to rush. If it isn’t there when I arrive, how important could it be? I’m willing to reschedule things. As a pedestrian, I’m happy no cyclists have caused me more grief than to remind me looking both left and right is important. Pedestrians remind me of social interaction and sharing space. Drivers, rather vehicles, impact my sense of mortality. They are big, fast and, reportedly, can be dangerous.

We might reflect more on those small acts of kindness where a cyclist pauses for a pedestrian to cross in front, a vehicle gives wider berth to help increase a cyclist’s sense of self-preservation, or a pedestrian pulls in their expandable leash to keep their pet safe. These are all more worthy and beneficial to develop community and reduce hostilities. Licensure for cyclists may increase administrative costs, distract police from attending to more drastic events, identify individuals as certified cyclists, reduce enthusiasm for alternative transportation, but will it hold a cyclist more accountable for their own actions? It is debatable.

Everybody can have a bad day, my philosophy is: no matter how bad things get, we have no right to make it worse for someone else. Treat people with respect and pay attention regardless of transportation mode.

Oliver Jost