Montreal police launch road safety campaign for cyclists and motorists
Martin Marcotte didn’t know Valérie Bertrand Desrochers, but as a fellow cyclist, he felt it was important to stop by a makeshift memorial at Saint-Zotique and 19th Avenue, in her honour.
“It’s just very sad, you know,” he tells Global News. “It’s such a bad thing that these things happen.”
On Monday, the emergency medical dispatcher for Urgence Santé was fatally hit by a truck at the intersection of Saint- Zotique and 19th Avenue.
According to police, Desrochers and the vehicle were travelling east on Saint-Zotique.
“And according to some witnesses, at the stop sign, she didn’t make her stop,” explains Montreal police road safety adviser, Const. Nathalie Valois.
This was at 19th Avenue. The truck then turned right and they collided. Police are still checking but they think the truck driver may have also broken the law.
“Saint-Zotique is what we call a no-truck zone,” says Valois.
Trucks aren’t allowed to use the street as a throughway.
Because of all this, police are holding a three-day awareness campaign called Operation Vigilance. They do this after any collision causing serious injury or death.
“We want to make sure that the days after [an accident], we are present to remind the users of the road that it’s important to be careful and to respect the law,” Valois explains.
Police are ticketing cyclists or motorists who don’t obey the stop signs, or trucks drivers who have no business in the area. They also want to remind pedestrians and cyclists that large vehicles have huge blind spots.
Valois says, “We want to make sure that cyclists and pedestrians know that. “So if they are around a truck, just try to make eye contact with the drivers.”
And if you can’t see the driver, stay back. Marcotte agrees.
“For the driver, it’s very hard for them to see us,” he says. “I’m aware of this. I’m always careful about this.”
He says that in a city, it is challenging for cyclists and drivers to share the road but they have to find a way.
Operation Vigilance ends on Thursday.
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