Driving courtesy only gets you so far

In this week's Share The Road column, Steve Nagle takes on the formidable left turn

  • May. 9, 2013 2:00 p.m.

Here's what to do

Take a look at the picture.

As the driver on the minor road, stopped at the stop sign intending to turn left (A), who has the right of way?

Easy, you say, “The cars on the major highway,” and you are perfectly correct. The drivers on the major road don’t have to stop to let you on to the major road.

Now, replace the car entering the major highway (A) with a cyclist. Who has the right of way now? If you answered, “The cars on the major highway,” you are again perfectly correct.

As a cyclist being in that position I am bewildered by cars on the major highway who stop for me! It’s very polite of them, but can cause a dangerous situation and a problem for other drivers – and for me as a cyclist.

I have seen so many near rear-end crashes as other drivers fail to see the car stopping in front of them for no reason. Or vehicles coming the other way on the major road wonder why is this driver stopping?

As a cyclist, you are governed by the same rules of the road as motor vehicles. A lot of drivers fail to realize this and regard the cyclist is a pedestrian.

Unless I am walking, pushing my bike across the road, I am technically another vehicle.

A lot of cyclists seem to think they can ride their bicycle on a pedestrian crossing. This is also wrong. The law states you must PUSH your bicycle across the crosswalk.

Cyclists are required to ride on the roadway, travelling in the same direction as traffic, NOT on the sidewalk, NOT facing traffic, MUST stop at stop signs and red lights, MUST signal their intensions and MUST follow the rules of the road like everyone else. Period!

The sooner we as cyclists and drivers realize this and conform to the rules, the better we will all get along together.

Bike to Work week is coming up soon, May 27 to June 2. Get on your bike, get a team together at work or school and have some fun. Check out www.biketowork.ca

Steve can be found at Outdoor Addictions. www.outdooraddictions.ca