TRURO – With summer in full bloom, and bicycles perusing the streets, Truro police and cyclists alike are reminding motorists to mind their distance and keep a heads up.
© Ryan Cooke/Truro Daily News
Jamie Cain, a local cycling enthusiast, is reminding motorists and fellow cyclists to keep the rules in mind this summer. Cain has been speaking out on Bill 93, which states drivers must give cyclists one metre while passing.
While there have been no major incidents so far this summer, there have been close calls, says local cyclist Jamie Cain.
“Just last night I was biking through Bible Hill on Main Street, and there were back-to-back cars where I could reach out and touch their mirrors,” he said.
While a select few drivers buzz by closely with malicious intent, most are just unaware of the law. In 2011, the provincial government amended Bill 93, a cyclist/motorist law, to state drivers must give cyclists a one-metre berth while passing. If they are unable to do so, they must wait until they have room before passing, and the driver may cross the centre line if necessary.
It’s an important law for cyclists, Cain said, as they too have to swerve from obstacles in the roadway and need space to do so.
“If a car hits a manhole or pothole, they might have to worry about a new ball joint,” he said. “If we hit a pothole, we might have to worry about our life or getting severely hurt.”
All worries would be reduced if everybody would just take it easy and keep their chins up, said Truro Police Insp. Rob Hearn.
“The streets are a busy place,” he said. “Everyone needs to just slow down, be courteous, and give space to each other. Don’t talk on your cellphone and keep an eye out at all times.”
For their part, Truro Police are always on the lookout for motorist-cyclist relations while on patrol. They enforce the law the best they can by levying fines, warnings and educating drivers in the process.
It’s not just motorists who deserve a finger wagging, however.
“It’s a two-way street,” Cain said. “It’s not just about picking on the motorists. As cyclists we have to use our common sense to stay safe. We have to obey the laws of the road too.”
With a close-knit cycling community in Truro, Cain says people like Hub Cycle owners Bruce and Daisy Roberts have been instrumental in promoting education and awareness of laws.
“If anyone wants to know anything about bike safety, or the laws around it, they are wonderful people to go see,” Cain said. “Bruce and Daisy don’t just sell the equipment, they live it too.”
Having been an avid rider for years, Cain still feels appreciation toward drivers who take caution and give him space.
“When somebody does give us that room when they pass us, that feeling of gratitude never grows numb.”
It’s an important issue for Jamie Cain for one simple reason – his life.
“It’s very dear to my heart because I want to come home safe. I have a wife and daughter. I know they want to see me come home, too.”