LETTER: Drivers a greater risk than cyclists

Re: CRD tickets cyclists who ignore stop signs at Lochside trail, Saanich Road intersection.

Yes it happens. But it happens much more frequently with motorists, which ever way you slice and dice it. The potential damage resulting from motorists’ malfeasance is far higher than it is for cyclists who disregard the stop-sign rules. One of the reasons it happens often is rolling stops are regarded as minor infractions.

READ ALSO: 25 consecutive drivers treat Saanich stop sign as optional

Take the corner at Cloverdale, Cook and Quadra. There are traffic lights, with a cycle of four different phases. One phase entails a green light for circulation from Cook onto Quadra and Cloverdale. The next phase entails a green light for circulation from Cloverdale onto Quadra and Cook. The third phase entails circulation travelling on Quadra to turn left onto Cook on an advanced green, turning right onto Cloverdale and carrying on straight on Quadra. The final phase allows traffic travelling on Quadra in both directions to pass through the intersection. For traffic approaching the intersection from Cook Street, there is only one phase where the light is green. During all other phases, circulation may turn right into Quadra Street. There is no green arrow light. Turning traffic is required, by law, to come to a complete stop before proceeding under safe conditions. Motorists very seldom come to a complete stop before turning right.

That activity occurs far more frequently than cyclists who disobey the stop sign at the intersection of the Lochside Trail and Saanich Road. The potential for tragic and devastating events is far more likely to occur at the Quadra Street location than at the Saanich Road location. The behaviour of cyclists at the Saanich Road site has far fewer chances of major damage and injuries than the behaviour of motorists at the Quadra Street site.

The emphasis should be on road safety. Education and enforcement is needed at both places, but it is more acute at Quadra. The problem on Saanich Road is not as dangerous for road safety than at Quadra.

In addition, large numbers of motorists execute their right turn at the Quadra site by having positioned themselves in the neighbouring bicycle lane. Often, if they do have to wait, they block the flow of cycle traffic making the same manoeuvre. Motorists are not allowed to be travelling or blocking movement of cyclists by occupying bicycle lanes.

READ ALSO: Saanich police issue drivers more than 100 tickets in one day

Is running stop signs and red lights a serious infraction? The fine is minor, no demerit points, and often only warnings are issued. Running stop signs and red lights is very serious and it should be treated that way. There is a reason for the law, and there is a reason why these objects are placed where they are.

A sad event occurred in Saskatchewan in the spring of 2018. An individual got up one morning and went to his job of driving a large truck. It is highly unlikely that the individual intended to cause harm, or even disregard the road safety rules. He came to an intersection marked by stop signs. For whatever reason, he chose to not stop at the stop sign. There was a horrific crash, and the rest is a well known history. All that happened, a truck driver did not stop, as required.

READ ALSO: ‘Why didn’t you stop?’ Humboldt families hear details of deadly crash

In events on the roads, motorists are far more numerous and potentially far more lethal than cyclists. For some reason the situation at the Saanich Road site receives more attention than the situation at the Quadra site.

READ ALSO: Extreme case of poop-throwing gives Victoria bike community a bad name

Two wrongs do not make anything right. It is not only cyclists who flaunt the road safety rules regulations and laws.

Robert Townsend

Saanich

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-inspired RV sales soaring on West Shore and beyond

Health restrictions, recommendations keep Vancouver Island vacationers closer to home

New development will pay homage to fallen World War One pilot

1015 Cook St. will become 28 market rental homes with mural

PHOTOS: Families, spectators wave goodbye to Navy Task Force from Victoria shorelines

HCMS Winnipeg and HCMS Regina sailing to Hawaiian training exercise, further deployments

Saanich Peninsula business leader calls for education campaign on social distancing

Chamber boss Denny Warner says Sidney demographics make consistent safety protocols necessary

371 British Columbians battling COVID-19, health officials confirm

Thursday (Aug. 6) saw a second straight day of nearly 50 new confirmed cases

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Aug. 4

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Should it be mandatory to wear masks when out in public?

B.C. is witnessing an alarming rise in the number of cases of… Continue reading

Statistics Canada says country gained 419,000 jobs in July

National unemployment rate was 10.9 per cent in July, down from the 12.3 per cent recorded in June

Canada vows retaliatory measures as Trump restores tariff on Canadian aluminum

The new Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement that replaced NAFTA went into force on July 1

Canada ‘profoundly concerned’ over China death sentence for citizen in drug case

Police later confiscated more than 120 kilograms of the drug from Xu Weihong’s home

Cowichan RCMP use spike belts to end car chase — man in custody

The driver was arrested at the scene a short distance from his vehicle

Island youth starts virtual race against racism

Cailyn Collins says people can take part in the cause from anywhere

COVID-19 tests come back negative for remote First Nation

“There are no suspected cases in the community at this time.”

Most Read