NDP proposal: give bikes three feet on the road

NDP proposal: give bikes three feet on the road

Watch this space (Image: Dylan Passmore) 

Like most opposition bills, it will probably amount to nothing, but Cheri DiNovo (the NDP MPP for Parkdale-High Park) has brought a bill to Queen’s Park to make things easier on cyclists in Ontario and no doubt further enrage motorists:

Under DiNovo’s proposed amendment to the Highway Traffic Act, motorists would have to give cyclists a berth of three feet when travelling under 50 km/h (the speed limit on most city streets), four feet for speeds between 50 km/h and 80 km/h and five feet for over 80 km/h.

Fines of between $310 and $750 would be imposed on scofflaws.

Reporters love cyclists, since they guarantee regular content, but this proposal sounds unworkable in a city like Toronto. Between dedicated bike lanes in some places and gridlock in the rest, even conscientious drivers would have a hard time moving a full metre out of the way of each and every cyclist they pass. If unconscientious drivers are the problem, a new law will change nothing.

The premier was quick to throw cold water on the proposal, though the Globe cheekily notes that Dalton McGuinty maintains not three, but five feet between himself and reporters.

NDP bill proposes 3-foot buffer around cyclists on road [Toronto Star]
• Ontario aims to increase cyclist safety [Globe and Mail]
• Ont. bill compels cars to give bikes space [CBCNews.ca]