New tech catches drivers not sharing the road
Published Tuesday, June 21, 2016 6:56PM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, June 21, 2016 7:08PM EDT
How close is too close when passing a cyclist?
Ottawa police officers are using new technology to crack-down on drivers who aren't sharing the road.
As of January, a new Ontario law means drivers cannot come within one-metre of a cyclist when passing. If you get too close, you could get slapped with a 110-dollar fine and three-demerit points.
Right now this is really an education campaign, a chance for police to warn drivers of the new rules. Police say it's obvious something needs to be done because 1-2 cyclists are struck by vehicles every day in Ottawa’s downtown core
Armed with a go-pro, avid cyclist Leonard Poole caught a driver cutting him off on camera.
So a new Ontario law protects cyclists like him...
"It's long overdue.” Says Poole.
Ottawa police bike officers are hitting the streets equipped with a new high-tech sonar device, measuring the distance between drivers and cyclists.
"Drivers have to follow a new rule that they have to give cyclists one-metre between them and their vehicle” states Constable Craig Barlow from the Ottawa Police Service.
The fine is up to 110-dollars and three demerit points if you don’t.
"I was unaware of the one-metre distance law” says one local driver. “I think it’s appropriate we need to focus on cyclist’s safety and drivers and cyclists need to get along together.”
Police say drivers aren't the only ones being educated.
Constable Barlow says that "sometimes it's hard to move over and sometimes the cyclists needs to take it upon themselves to do shoulder checks and ride in a safe manner, predictable manner”
And while police have the power to lay charges, right now they're not. Instead it will be just a warning to share the road.