CanbikeBC Blog

Distracted Driving – Vehicles & Bikes

Originally written and posted in Aug/Sept 2013
Updated and re-posted Nov 2018

This morning is a great morning to be out !!   It’s the last day of August, high wispy clouds, dry roads, and warm temperatures.  A perfect day for a ride, be it a local ride, a training ride, or a trek type outing.

I am on my way to Vancouver Island to visit family. No, I am not riding, I am driving.

As I was headed out to the Horseshoe Bay ferry terminal I did pass a number of riders out on this glorious BC morning.  None of them had lights (not required during day light hours, just a good idea) on their bikes, which I saw.  Only a couple had reflective vests, or anything reflective worn.           I will pull out the silver lining, that being, that all were wearing helmets.

If you have followed this blog you will know that helmets, reflective vests and lights are a common theme of mine;

                 Safety First, Safety Last, Safety Always.

The radio warned about accidents on this long weekend, saying there will be about 2200 in total, and I am regretfully certain some of those will be fatal in nature and some will involve cyclists.                                                        I am truly sorry for the families that lose a loved one, especially if it didn’t have to happen.

  That brings me to the point of this entry- Distracted Driving.

They said distracted driving is now the single biggest cause of accidents, passing impaired driving.

I spoke with an RCMP traffic officer buddy on mine the other day and he said one in three accidents are from distracted driving.

  Cell phones and electronic devises are the core of this epidemic.

I must admit that I have looked down at my phone, and I have answered my phone while driving.                                                                                              I am now putting my phone aside and leaving it until it is safe to answer. We also have ‘hands free’ in the vehicle.

 If the Prime Minster of CANADA wants to call me, I am sure he’ll understand if I don’t call be directly. I will make contact via hands free for both sides.

 Distracted driving either in a vehicle or on a bike can take many forms. I have spoken about vehicles, so let’s refocus back on cyclists in particular.

Yes we have all seen cyclists riding with one hand on the handle bars (usually their left hands) and the other holding a cell phone to their head. 
Riding is an endeavor that takes full concentration at all times, in my opinion that goes without saying.                                                                                                                                        

   The four core concepts of CAN- BIKE                                                    Manoeuvrability   Visibility  Predictability Communication

   Also referred to  as

SEE,   BE SEEN,  BE HEARD,  BE PREDICTABLE                                                                      – and the fifth unofficial – BE PARANOID

Drivers that use their cell phones and electronic devises are a danger on the road and not watching for or being cognizant of other road users in general, but cyclists in particular.

Cyclists that, God forbid, use electronic devises while riding, are as big a danger and hazard as the car drivers. 
 Cyclists that use and listen to ear buds in both ears are just as big a danger, and just as distracted. In fact I believe even more of a danger/hazard because they can’t hear the vehicle coming up to them, from any direction !!

 Bottom line distracted driving and distracted riding can be the cause of accidents, distracted driving is becoming the cause of more accidents for vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists from minor to fatal.

Take the time to enjoy your surroundings when you ride, but also be aware of your surroundings when you ride , drive or walk.

Updated Nov 2018 –

Since this entry was first written the furtherance of distracted driving has continued cascading forward.  Distracted driving and now a parallel problem – distracted walking has become a bigger problem.                              

  I mentioned distracted walking.  This is becoming a problem, just as big, since most, not all, but a larger portion than should be, walkers are looking down at their phones with no real idea of what is happening around them, where they are or for that matter the world outside the mobile device they are engrossed in.

  I’m not here to blame drivers, or riders, or pedestrians, but all sides have to wear some of the blame for the injuries caused by one side on the others.  It really is a three way street.

  Whether you are walking, riding or driving, PLEASE put your phone/ mobile device down and know what is happening and who is around you.  Lives can depend on it.

Listening to tunes is great and has a time and place, but that place isn’t while cycling.

Thanks for stopping by,                                                                                                      Safe ride home.                                                                                                                      Chuck

Back in the Saddle Again – Really 2- 2018

Allot has happened since the last time I posted. Please
note the new Company Logo (on the left) attached above !!

The biggest news is – I have fully retired from Policing. 
30 September 2018 was the final day of my Policing careers, 40 years, 2 months, three weeks.  Two Police organizations, Ten stops in two Provinces.  All uniform duties and four of those stops I was able to ride Police Mountain Bike as a part of a duty function.

Well, I have said that I am going to get back at writing entries for the Blog.  Yes, I said that earlier and didn’t follow through, well this time will be different. I haven’t posted anything but I have continued to write. 

We are going to get this back on its wheels, now that I have some more time to work with.  I guess this is what they mean about when you retire you are busier than you ever were when you worked a regular job.

I can tell you that I have found the BC Ferries trip from Tsawwassen (Vancouver side) to Swartz Bay (Victoria side) is a great place to sit, tap on an iPad mini and watch the incredible scenery of Active Pass go by.

I have also taken on position with the Board of the British Columbia Cycling Coalition, based in Vancouver BC, but looking at cycling issues for the Province as a whole. I have taken on the membership committee.  Yea I know try for world peace it would be easier….  You don’t know if you don’t
try, membership I mean.

Web Master Ken has rebuilt the web site, again, and we are adding the  CAN-BIKE and League of American Bicycling course materials to the site, as a Moodle based thing. We’re also going to be adding an Instructor specific section for those CAN-BIKE Instructors.  This will include a ‘cycling forum’ where questions can be posted and I can take a shot at answering. 

We have also started a CAN-BIKE BC Facebook page. So contacting canbe done through there also.

The CAN-BIKE side has been busy this year. Lots of courses taught, along with an Instructor course in Calgary.  Further, the Consulting side has started to become active again.  A file from Alberta for the Queen’s Bench Court of Alberta. So that’s exciting to get back at . That the two top Courts in BC and Alberta where I am am accepted expert in cycling evidence.

I also have an idea of a section for very different road signs.                             I was also thinking a section for people to send in bike related beer labels. This is where the Facebook page can come in handy.

I have an actual blog entry ready to go, which will be added before the end of the week, once Web Master Ken helps me get it right.

Thanks for coming back, and I hope you stay, read, think,
take and/or use some of the points that are being offered.

CHUCK’s (WEB SITE) RULES;

(01)  If you want to discuss cycling and cycling Instructor points, in a reasoned & reasonable, adult, polite discussion, then I am willing to engage with you. 

(02)  Yell at me, threaten me, swear at me or call me names and that will end it right there!! I got enough of that in 40 plus years of Policing, I won’t tolerate it here !!                                                                                                       — And by the way, if that happens your thoughts/comments/etc
will be deleted very quickly and you will be forgotten.

(03)  Life is too short not to add some humour in, so, it won’t always be serious. I’ll try to keep lighter points around, along with some pictures that are quite humorous – stay tuned.

 

Thanks for Stopping By

     Safe Ride Home

          Chuck

 

Oct 2018

 

 

Slip Slidin’ Away

I used some of the magical words of Paul SIMON  – Slip Slidin’ Away  – to caption this blog entry, and for a pretty good reason.

Here on the West Coast of CANADA the Fall rains have finally started, or at least the Fall weather has finally arrived.  With the rain comes the wind, and with the wind comes the colourful Fall leaves to the ground.

In our area the municipalities have had a wonderful program for several years to put trees up along the streets, avenues, roads, boulevards. If it has pavement on it, likely there is a tree next to it. That includes bike lanes and separated bike paths.  Needless to say trails & trees go hand in hand, all around them.

You may have noticed that I have again used the area of West Maple Ridge BC as an example.

Now take a look at the road in the attached pictures and notice the leaves along the side of the street, and out to the driving/ travel portion of the driving surface.  As with the puddles you can’t see the bottom of, you can’t see what is or isn’t under the leaves, other than to know they are going to be slippery.

As I said the rains have come, with the rains, comes the wind. The rain weighs down the dying leaves, and the wind removes the leaves from the tress.  Those leaves get deposited on the wet streets and cause the street  to become slippery and slick.  This causes very slick road surfaces to the tyres of the bikes that pass by this point.

This isn’t just BC west coast thing, but it is occurring anywhere the leaves are coming off the trees and mixing with the wet weather conditions.

Once the weather and the leaves mix, the accumulation on the ground gets wet and slippery and starts to rot and gets even slipperier.  Not good news for cyclists, or vehicles that might have to brake quickly and could slide in the leaf mush.

The Motor Vehicle Act, or Highway Traffic Act, names change across the continents but the message is the same.

Ride as close as practicable to the right hand side of the roadway.

In the CAN-BIKE program, along with the Cycling Savvy program, the message is taken as  
As far right as practicable, practicable being safe.                                            When the traveled portion of the road surface is narrow, take the lane.

This doesn’t mean you hug the gutter as some motorists would profess, it means, as I teach it, the cyclist is in a reasonable spot on the road surface, not buried along the road gutter, AND if there is debris (leaves etc) then we move out to avoid this obstruction.

It bears repeating – As far right as practicable, practicable being safe.  When the roadway surface is narrow, take the lane.

Riding in all sorts of weather conditions can be enjoyable, once you are prepared for it, but riding when it’s unsafe is dangerous to the cyclist and those around them if the cyclist goes down.  If we can see hazards and avoid them then we as cyclists are going to have a better experience riding.

After all, riding is supposed to be fun and enjoyable, not feared and gut tightening with anxiety.

     Please be careful, use your lights – so others can see you – always wear a helmet and some form of eye protection.                                                                       In lousy weather you need to see what is around you – your life could likely depend on it.

Thanks for Stopping By 
Safe Ride Home  
Chuck                                                                                          Nov 2018.

GETTING BACK FOR 2018

I come back with hat, er- bike helmet, in hand and asking for forgiveness.
I said that when we opened the new, now not so new website that I would get back to adding a blog entry each month.  That was June for a meeting in Ottawa.  Since then I have continued writing, but haven’t added squat to the blog or the web site.

Web Guru Ken had questioned me on this !!

Yes, I know everyone blames “life” for getting in the way, and I have also used that same excuse, to no avail.  I sit here and can think back to days that I just sat.  Again, yes I know Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda.
Well, that will change, honest this time, with this month.  January 2018.
2018 is a big year for me and I look forward to what the year beings.

More on that as the year gets going and we delve into it.
Again thanks to all the reader, maybe even readers that have followed the blog over the past few years.

On the up side there has been fourty (40) entries at about a thousand words per entry. So that isn’t all that bad, just none of those words are very recent.

Thanks for stopping by
Safe Ride Home,
Chuck