Hamilton cyclists may soon get a little more room to roam.
At Monday’s (Sept. 16) Public Works meeting councillor John-Paul Danko introduced a motion asking that Hamilton Police Services be requested to consider options for the enforcement of the one-metre passing law for cyclist safety, which requires motorists to provide at least one metre (three feet) of space to cyclists when passing.
The enforcement, the motion reads, would be replicating what is already happening in other municipalities in Ontario, like Guelph and Ottawa.
Danko wanted to stress that he wasn’t seeking to introduce punitive measures and that the motion is meant to explore options for educating drivers about the one-metre passing law.
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“Many drivers just don’t know [what to do],” Danko said, adding that as a driver it can be “stressful” when encountering a cyclist because if you’re indecisive, the people behind you could ‘get frustrated’ and pass.
“It creates a dangerous situation for everybody,” he said.
He said that while he’s not a cyclist, his children are and he thinks educating everyone on the road about what their obligations are is empowering. Danko also suggested a review of radar enforcement might also help to make the roads safer for cyclists.
Danko’s motion was seconded by councillor Esther Pauls who wondered whether or not there were rules pertaining to tailgating cyclists.
“Vehicles are to be treated as any other vehicle on the road,” city staff responded, adding that bike lanes are typically 1.2 to 1.5 meters wide and vehicles should be giving cyclists at least a metre clearance on top of that when passing.