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Ontario Coroner’s Review of Cycling Deaths — Council endorsement

COUNCIL RESOLUTION:  On September 26, 2012 Mississauga Council approved RESOLUTION 0216-2012 (2p PDF) which endorses the Ontario Coroner’s recommendations in the Cycling Death Review Report, released on June 18, 2012.  The City will implement the recommendations which fall under municipal purview as outlined in the Resolution and highlighted below.  ► Click image to view the entire CORONER’S REPORT (22p PDF).

Recommendations include:

- Adoption of a “complete streets” approach.
- Development of an Ontario Cycling Plan.
- Comprehensive cycling safety public awareness and education strategy.
- Legislative change (Highway Traffic Act; Municipal Act; relevant Municipal By-Laws).
- Strategies to promote and support helmet use for cyclists of all ages.
- [Possible] Implementation of mandatory helmet legislation for cyclists of all ages.
- Establishment of a “one-meter” rule for vehicles when passing cyclists.
- Prioritizing the development of paved shoulders on provincial highways.
- Mandatory side-guards for heavy trucks.
- Enforcement, education and public safety activities.

BACKGROUND: Dr. Andrew McCallum, Chief Coroner for Ontario announced on October 24, 2011 that the Office of the Chief Coroner will be conducting a review of cycling deaths across the province.  This review was undertaken as a result of public concern surrounding the issue of cycling safety, given that 15 – 20 cyclists die annually in Ontario as a result of accidental injuries.

The provincial review of cycling was led by Dr. Dan Cass, Regional Supervising Coroner – Toronto West Region, and included deaths from 2006 to 2010.  The purpose of the review was to identify common factors that may have played a role in the deaths, and where possible, to make recommendations to prevent similar deaths.

“Cycling activity is increasing in many parts of the province and like other users of our roadways, cyclists ought to be safe. By examining these deaths, we hope to find ways to increase their safety.”  – Dr. Andrew McCallum, Chief Coroner for Ontario

MISSISSAUGA RECOMMENDATIONS:  MCAC prepared a Letter of Recommendations (click to view the 3p PDF), in conjunction with the Mississauga Cycling Office, which was sent to the Chief Coroner’s Review Panel on February 2, 2012.  The recommendations included expanding the scope of the review to: non-fatal cycling collisions, the role of cycling infrastructure design in preventing cycling accidents, and identification of provincial policy initiatives for cycling safety which may require further support to move forward.

NOTE: Ghost bikes (painted white) that are erected around the world  in memory of cyclists killed in traffic accidents are a reminder of the dangers cyclists face when going up against cars without adequate lane separation in many cases.

► An example is shown in this photo from http://ghostbikes.org.

► Wikipedia article: Ghost bike.

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