The City of Vernon and the Vernon North Okanagan RCMP are reminding residents to take care of each other on our roadways this summer.
During the summer, more people are riding bikes and enjoying other activities such as skateboarding and scootering. People can be seriously hurt if they are struck by a vehicle, but there are things that drivers can do to help keep everyone safe.
“According to ICBC, the behaviours that most often lead to cyclists being struck by a vehicle are distracted driving and drivers failing to yield the right of way,” said Angela Broadbent, Active Transportation Coordinator. “Fortunately, there are small habits we can practice while driving to keep people safe. We need to avoid distractions and we need to pause and take the time to turn with care.”
Statistics indicate that 80% of collisions with cyclists in British Columbia happen at intersections, often when the driver is turning. Therefore, drivers are reminded to take a mindful moment to scan for cyclists before turning, and to turn with care:
• Always shoulder check before turning right. Remember, cyclists have the right of way in bike lanes and you need to yield to them before crossing one.
• Look both ways for cyclists before turning left.
• Be aware that cyclists can ride in both directions on multi-use pathways and on the 30th street cycle track. If you see an “elephant’s foot” crossing (small painted white squares), it indicates a pathway that crosses the street and you need to check both ways.
"The Vernon North Okanagan RCMP want to remind motorists to focus on the road, expect the unexpected, and avoid any distractions that may jeopardize your safety or that of other roadway users," said Cst. Chris Terleski, Media Relations Officer. “Always scan right and left for cyclists at intersections before continuing through.”
Drivers should also be mindful of people riding skateboards and electric kick scooters.
“You can expect to see more electric kick scooters in Vernon as we continue to participate in the provincial pilot program and launch our shared electric scooter program later this month,” said Broadbent. ““Even if you don’t ride, it’s helpful to learn the rules of the road for bikes and other devices – such as skateboards and scooters – to better understand when they have the right of way.”
Residents can learn more about the rules of the road for all kinds of transportation by reading the City’s guide called “This is How We Roll” online at vernon.ca/vernonmoves..
Print copies of “This Is How We Roll” and other resources about safe driving and biking are also available at the Community Safety Office, located at 3010 31st Avenue. The Community Safety Office is open Monday to Friday from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm.
Cyclists riding on ‘elephant’s foot crossings’ can travel in both directions.