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Monday, April 3, 2017, to Sunday, April 9, 2017,
Motorcycle/Bicycle Safety Week

Broadcast time: 04:59
Monday, April 3, 2017

Traffic Services

On Monday, April 3, 2017, Toronto Police Service Traffic Services will kick off "Motorcycle and Bicycle Safety Week." This campaign will focus on the safety of these two vulnerable road-using groups.

Improving road safety and traffic flow for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists is one of our goals in support of the Service priority and commitment to safe communities and neighbourhoods. This initiative also supports a component of the City of Toronto Vision Zero Road Safety Plan. Vision Zero is a comprehensive five-year (2017-2021) action plan focused on reducing traffic-related fatalities and serious injuries on Toronto's streets. The plan prioritizes the safety of our most vulnerable road-users, through a range of initiatives.

With the official start of spring on Monday, March 20, 2017, motorists will see an increase in motorcyclists and cyclists on the roads.

While the return of riding season is a welcome sign of spring, the Toronto Police Service's continued focus on road safety for all road-users will continue to be at the forefront of officers' daily duties.

Since 1995, there have been 78 motorcycle fatalities in Toronto. The causal factors of the collisions were analyzed, and the contributing factors to the crashes were identified.

Some of the of the myths and facts are shown here.

Since 2003, there have been 32 cyclist fatalities in Toronto. Some causal and contributing factors were identified.

• cyclist without right of way rides into path of motorist in intersection
• motorist without right of way drives into path of cyclist in intersection
• motorist turns right at a non-signalized intersection and strikes cyclist

From 2003 to 2017, the age group with the highest rate of fatalities is the 45-64 group, which comprises 10 of the 32 victims.

Safety tips and reminders for cyclists:

Cyclists age 14 years of age and over may not lawfully cycle on Toronto's sidewalks

What to wear
Cyclists should wear clothing that will not catch in the wheels, chain or other moving parts of the bicycle. Many cyclists wear comfortable, layered clothing that breathes yet is wind-resistant.

Wear an approved helmet for safety. Choose a helmet that fits correctly and look for a CSA, Snell, ANSI, ASTM British Standard or Australian Standard sticker that shows that the helmets meet legislated standards.

Night riding
To make cyclists visible to motorists at night, wear light-coloured clothing or reflective fabric that glows in the dark. Cyclists must use bicycle lights from a half-hour before sunset to a half-hour after sunrise. Use a white front light and a rear red light or reflector.

Ride with two hands on handle bars
To maintain a good balance, do not carry objects on the handlebars. Wear riding gloves made of leather or fabric to protect the hands and provide a good grip for brakes.

Riding in the rain
When cycling in the rain, increase stopping distance and wear flourescent clothing to make up for the decreased visibility. Do not ride through puddles, which may hide potholes, glass or other road hazards. It is also a good idea to stay away from the centre of the road where oil slicks form.

Beware of the right hook
Due primarily to driver error in the use of the designated bicycle lanes (merge area), drivers are often making right turns improperly and are subsequently involved in collisions with cyclists. Although responsibility in most cases falls to the driver, caution when approaching intersections is recommended to help ensure a safe commute.

To help reduce the chances of being involved in a dooring incident, use a bell or horn when approaching vehicles which have occupants, leave one metre between yourself and parked vehicles, have an escape route in case a door is opened by a driver/passenger.

Dooring statistics

2014 - 132
2015 - 175
2016 - 209
Total - 516

Safe operation, regardless of the type of vehicle, is critical to the safety of all road-users. Together we can make the roads safer by following all the rules.

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Constable Jenifferjit Sidhu, Corporate Communications, for Constable Clint Stibbe, Traffic Services