Cycling group calls for improvements to Motor Vehicle Act

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Cycling groups meet in hopes of improving Motor Vehicle Act
WATCH ABOVE: Members of Nova Scotia's cycling communities gathered Thursday night to talk traffic safety. Steve Silva has more on the interactive way they're making their voices heard – Jan 22, 2016

Dozens of people gathered at the Halifax Central Library Thursday night to suggest and give feedback on ideas for improving provincial transportation legislation.

The public session was hosted by the Halifax Cycling Coalition Thursday night.

“The existing Motor Vehicle Act really doesn’t understand the reality of the fact that we do share the road with one another,” said Brenden Sommerhalder, a cyclist.

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Papers with ideas on changing the act were attached to windows in a room in the library. Participants placed stickers on accompanying scales based on how much or little they agreed a particular idea.

The session was held at the Halifax Central Library. Steve Silva / Global News

The feedback will be given to the minister of transportation and infrastructure renewal next month.

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One of the more popular ideas was to ban drivers from making right turns immediately after passing cyclists, which can lead to what is called a “right hook” collision.

“The minister has agreed to kind of have an active transportation minister’s panel, and this way we’ll be able to have a broader discussion on active transportation beyond the cycling communities,” said Joachim Stroink, MLA of Halifax Chebucto.

“I skidded and fell, and I broke a few ribs, and they went into my kidneys, and I was hospitalized for a few weeks,” said Brenden Sommerhalder. Steve Silva / Global News

Sommerhalder said he got into a collision involving a car a couple of years ago, requiring hospitalization.

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Despite the ordeal, he said there is hope for a better future in the province for both motorists and cyclists.

“I know that motorists and cyclists can coexist because it happens in other places,” said Sommerhalder, who also drives a car.

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