Ride of Silence calls for greater cyclist safety

Patrick Cheverie, left front and Laura MacPherson took part in the annual Ride of Silence. With them are Tom Levesque, standing left, IBC; Jordan Brown, MLA; Paul Deighan, president of Cycling PEI; and Police Constable Shaun Davis. Photo: Brian McInnis

Cyclists and those who support them made a heartfelt plea for safety at Charlottetown’s Ride of Silence event last night.

Representatives of the Government of Prince Edward Island, Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), and the police spoke before the assembled cyclists began the slow, silent ride in memory of people killed while riding bicycles. The Ride of Silence is an international event that aims to remind motorists, police, and lawmakers that cyclists have a legal right to safely use public roads.

“Bicycling is a safe, healthy activity and law-abiding cyclists have a right to travel our roads without fear,” Transportation, Infrastructure and Energy Minister Paula Biggar said. “Our government wants roads to be safe for all users and we are developing legislation and making capital improvements to protect cyclists on Island highways.”

In 2003, Chris Phelan organized the first Ride of Silence in Dallas after the traffic-related death of endurance cyclist Larry Schwartz. The Ride of Silence is free, has no sponsors, and asks its cyclists to ride no faster than 12 mph and remain silent during the ride.

"Trauma care providers see all too often the toll of cycling injuries that result from cyclists being exposed to unsafe driver practices and by engaging in unsafe cycling practices,” Dr. Scott Cameron, Trauma PEI medical director. “Respect for the rules of the road by all parties –and situational awareness and courtesy from drivers and riders – can prevent serious injury and death for our most vulnerable users of public roads.”

Prince Edward Island’s Ride of Silence was held this year in honour of Ellen Watters, a competitive cyclist killed while training in New Brunswick.

"Making our roads safer means fewer injuries, and healthier overall communities for drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians,“ said Amanda Dean, vice-president - Atlantic, IBC. "IBC is proud  to be a partner in road safety with the Government of PEI and Cycling PEI on raising awareness to enhance road safety for all Islanders."

Bicycle safety information is available at Share the Road.

Media contact:
Ron Ryder
Department of Transportation, Infrastructure and Energy

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