Re: Helmet prevents serious injury, Police News in Brief, March 20. This headline should more accurately be entitled “Careless motorists injure cyclists in two separate incidents.”
In both cases, the motorists appear to have contravened the Motor Vehicle Act.
In the first item, a cyclist was hospitalized after being “doored” by a parked vehicle. Section 203(1) of the Motor Vehicle Act contains a prohibition against opening a vehicle door into moving traffic unless it is safe to do so. As the vehicle had “just parked”, it appears the motorist was in clear violation of this law.
In the second item, a cyclist suffered injuries after a vehicle turned right into his/her path. Again the motorist has committed a violation. DriveSmart points out that the Motor Vehicle Act specifies the driver must remain in the right-most vehicle lane prior to turning and yield to any bike traffic before turning right and crossing over the bike lane.
The language used in the Oak Bay News also minimized the impact on the cyclists, describing in the first instance “the cyclist’s elbow caught the edge of the door”, and in the second instance “the cyclist struck the rear passenger corner of the car”.
Why didn’t the Oak Bay Police charge the motorists in each case? And why the endless trivialization of these serious offences resulting in injuries to cyclists? Let’s hope at least the cyclists will recognize their rights and pursue other legal remedies.