REGINA – SGI is focusing on the safety of vulnerable road users for the month of April.
“Probably the number one thing that a vulnerable road user can do is try to be as visible as possible,” said Kelley Brinkworth, media relations manager for the Crown corporation.
Vulnerable road users include pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists.
The safety tips may seem obvious, but that doesn’t mean everyone follows them.
“For pedestrians, you always want to cross at a marked crossing. Obey the ‘Walk’ and ‘Don’t Walk’ signals,” said Brinkworth.
In 2013, collisions resulted in the death of 14 pedestrians, six motorcyclists, and two bicyclists; 678 other people suffered injuries, according to SGI.
“I’ve had people swerve into a parking lane to try to hit me, and then overtake on the inside of other cars and almost hit other cars and cause accidents. It’s definitely a scary experience,” said Luke Nichols, the vice president of communications with Bike Regina.
He said it’s important that drivers keep at least three feet away (if not more) away from cyclists.
“That space is critical. It might not seem like much, but it makes a world of difference when you’re on a bike, because we do feel very vulnerable,” said Nichols.
Rhonda Cwynar, president of Riders Against Government Exploitation, was pinned under an SUV last year while driving her motorcycle in the south end of the city last year.
“It’s amazing I’m alive,” she said.
She broke two bones, among other injuries – “I’m lucky to have a left foot,” Cwynar added.
“When you ride a motorcycle, you just accept that someday your life may change forever,” she said.
Robb Hertzog, owner of Prairie Harley-Davidson, said that preventing a day like that is ultimately a two-way street.
“All the drivers that are out there haven’t seen you for the last six months, so it’s a learning experience on both ends,” he said.