Anger after Montreal cyclist hits child about to board school bus with lights flashing

Click to play video: 'Montreal residents call for change after cyclist hits child about to board school bus'
Montreal residents call for change after cyclist hits child about to board school bus
WATCH: Residents in Montreal's Plateau neighbourhood are fed up. They want better road safety measures after a child about to board a school bus was struck by a cyclist. As Global's Phil Carpenter reports, families that live on the street say this is nothing new – May 10, 2024

Several residents on Jeanne-Mance Street in Montreal’s Plateau Mont-Royal borough say cyclists passing a stopped school bus with its lights flashing happens multiple times each day.

“I just sat in front of my house and I witnessed another cyclist going right through a stop sign with a school bus letting kids off,” says Mayer Feig who lives on Jeanne-Mance.

On Friday afternoon Global News witnessed three cyclists ignore the stop sign and flashing lights on two school buses letting children off, not far from where a person on a bicycle hit a child who was about to board a school bus Thursday.

The child’s family didn’t want to speak to media Friday afternoon, but Feig says the accident doesn’t surprise him.

“The same thing happened to my son a year ago, and to another neighbour a few months ago,” he told Global News right before a school bus driver screamed at two more cyclists ignoring the flashing lights on the stopped bus.

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Feig says some mothers are now afraid to let their kids walk to the bus.

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Magali Bebronne of cycling advocacy group, Vélo Québec, says she too is appalled by the accident but insists the law isn’t being adequately communicated.

“Well, there seems to be a lot of misunderstanding about rules,” she explains. “The truth is, it’s only since 2018 that this particular article of the highway code has been applied to cyclists.”

Bebronne thinks it’s just common sense for cyclists to stop but says an information blitz is needed.

“I guess that’s one good focus that the police department should be acting on,” she says.

According to the Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec the law states that cyclists (and motorists) must “stop at least 5 metres from a school bus or minibus with its flashing red lights or stop sign in operation, and do not proceed until the red lights are off and the stop sign is retracted.”

Jeanne-Mance Street residents say the message isn’t getting through, and they point to what they see as another problem — bike lanes on both sides of the street.

“It makes it very difficult with the high density for so many kids to safely move around,” Feig points out.

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Montreal police confirm that, from what Feig’s video of Thursday’s accident shows, the cyclist broke the law and that the fine, including costs, will be $131. Their investigation continues.

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