NSNDP introduces amendments to Motor Vehicle Act to improve cycling safety

Click to play video: 'Nova Scotia NDP, Cycling Coalition want Motor Vehicle Act to prohibit dooring, right hook' Nova Scotia NDP, Cycling Coalition want Motor Vehicle Act to prohibit dooring, right hook
WATCH: The Nova Scotia NDP have brought forward legislation that would amend the Motor Vehicle Act in an effort to better protect cyclists. Jeremy Keefe reports – Apr 1, 2018

As more cyclists are set to begin appearing on Nova Scotia roadways come springtime, the NDP is hoping to beef up the Motor Vehicle Act to help ensure better safety measures for two-wheeled travelers.

READ MORE: More than 100 cyclists participate in Halifax bike safety ride

“One of the main barriers to people getting on bikes is that they are worried about their safety,” explained Dartmouth North MLA Susan Leblanc, who brought the amendments forward on Tuesday.

Among the amendments are changes that prohibit two of the issues that give cyclists the most stress: dooring and the “right-hook.”

“‘Dooring’ is when you open the door in the line of traffic and hit somebody on a bicycle,” explained Kelsey Lane, executive director of the Halifax Cycling Coalition. “It can seriously injure somebody and sometimes the case is fatal.”

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“It’s not specifically prohibited in the MVA, and that’s a problem,” Lane said.

The right-hook is a similar danger as a cyclist’s path is cut off by a vehicle that turns right while the cyclist is traveling alongside.

It can be a scary situation — one Leblanc says she knows well.

“I was riding my bike and a car turned right into me,” she said. “I was really lucky not to be seriously hurt, but I do have a permanent dent in my leg.”

The proposed amendments, which also include increased road marking and traffic signals, received their first reading in the legislature on Tuesday.

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