Cyclists say they can try harder to follow signs
The City of Ottawa has spent millions of dollars working to improve cyclist safety, but some riders said they can do more to help by obeying the rules of the road.
A common complaint from drivers is that cyclists can be unpredictable, not following stop signs or signaling turns properly.
"When you don't, it's like when you were driving a car . . . you're putting yourself at risk," said Dick Louch of Capital Velo Fest, a weekend dedicated to promoting cycling.
"You're (also) putting other people around on the roads at risk and it's not a wise thing to do."
CTV Ottawa took its cameras to an intersection Sunday morning to see how often the rules are being broken.
"It's something I should pay more attention to," said one cyclist of ignoring a stop sign. "I did slow down, next time I'll stop . . . if you look at everyone they're doing the same and I guess it's just a bad habit that we have."
"No, because I'm soaking wet and cold," said another that didn't stop. "I slowed down and I was looking because that's what I always do."
If a driver did the same thing, they'd be facing demerit points on their license and a fine if caught.
A common defence for some cyclists is that it takes effort to stop and get going again.
"I'm not a fan of that, but I always give them a way just in case they cut me off and stuff like that," said driver Jehoiakim Aranas.
Drivers also have a responsibility to check their blind spots for cyclists, especially when it comes to doorings.
"I looked in my mirror to (check) for cars, there were no cars so I'll open the door and then a bike just came by and hit it," said a driver. "He almost flipped over the whole door."
At Velo Fest, young cyclists were being taught the lessons to keep everyone safe on the road.
"They're telling us the left hand signal, the right hand signal, to look over both shoulders and to stay a metre away from the car if they open the door so you won't get hit," said Brendan Bays.
With a report from CTV Ottawa's Katie Griffin