Windsor Police report that this year their has been an increase in the number of collisions between motorists and cyclists. As well, with the ever-increasing amount of alternative means of cycling, such as e-bikes and scooters this has also led to higher frustration levels between motorists, cyclists and even pedestrians.
Police have received several complains as a result of various issues surrounding cycling such as riding on sidewalks, riding through crosswalks, running through red lights and stop signs and no safety lighting.
At the same time, cyclists have also has complaints such as motorists are not sharing the road, driving in the bike lanes, make turns in front of cyclists at intersections and opening doors in the path of cyclists.
Education of all who use the roadways is paramount and which is one of the goals of the Windsor Bicycle Committee and the Windsor Police Service. Education also starts at home and parents have to ensure their children and teens know what the rules of the road are. Basically the rules cyclists need to follow are the same rules that motorists have to follow. Fines and even points can be assessed for those who violate the Highway Traffic Act and City of Windsor Bylaws.
Police say that while the city infrastructure when it comes to cycling lanes is continually improving but is still a long ways away from creating a flowing network of bike lanes for cyclists. When new roads are planned and constructed and when older ones are being re-habilitated cycling lanes are always considered in those projects. Some state that it is safer to be on the sidewalks than to ride on the roadways, and in some cases this may be true. The current city bylaw as it stands is being re-vamped to deal with these issues, and to also incorporate some regulation regarding the rising influx of e-bikes.
During the week of July 10th to the 16th the Windsor Police Service will be conducting an enforcement blitz with respect to cyclists and operators of e-bikes. Officers will be directed to enforce the Highway Traffic Act and City Bylaws with respect to offences observed as mentioned above. The purpose is to target those who ignore the rules of the road as well as to educate them. Likewise officers will be advised to target drivers who may be aggressive towards cyclists who are abiding by the law.
This is the first time for such an initiative and police hope that the message will get out there that both cyclists and motorists need to share the road because it is the law.