Ellen’s Law at One Year: Little Has Changed

Cariati Law Toronto, Ontario Lawyers Bicycle Accidents

The CBC notes that it has been a year since Ellen’s Law—designed to protect bicyclists from collisions with automobiles—has passed. In that year, many say that very little has changed in the tense relationship between cyclists and drivers. Some cyclists note that distracted driving and failure to follow the rules of the road are ongoing problems. To read the full article, click here.

Ellen’s Law—named for a Sussex woman killed in a 2016 cycling collision—went into effect on June 1, 2017. It mandates that drivers maintain at least one metre’s distance when passing a cyclist. Violations carry a fine of $172.50 and three demerit points. Municipal police forces and the RCMP—responsible for ticketing drivers who do not respect the rule—indicate that they issued at least 16 tickets to motorists between June 1 and December 31 of 2017. The current number for 2018 is not yet available.

Room for Improvement Remains

While some observers say drivers now assume more risk and err on the side of caution, others counter that drivers still need to respect the space cyclists need. They note little difference overall in the way motorists behave around them—yet concede that much of the blame goes both ways.

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