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Recent crashes won't stop cyclists from hitting the road

CTV.CA: Recent crashes won't stop cyclists from hitting the road

Updated: Mon May. 17 2010 12:37:50 PM

Recent fatal collisions have renewed calls for cyclists and motorists to share the road, as well as an increased need for bike safety.

"I think that we can't stop ourselves from biking because of those stories but at the same time it proves we need to be more careful," said cyclist Veronique Boily.

Late Sunday night, a 16-year-old male cyclist was killed when he was hit by a speeding motorcycle. On May 14, three cyclists were killed and three others were injured after they were hit by a vehicle southeast of Montreal.

Last July, a group now referred to as the "Kanata 5" were struck by a mini-van and seriously injured in Ottawa's west end.

The collisions have also served as tragic reminders about the need for drivers and cyclists to improve their relationship on the road. However, not everyone is on board.

"I think personally the roads should just be for cars," said one motorist.

The chair of the city's roads and cycling committee says Ottawa needs designated bike lanes.

"We're lucky in Ottawa the roads are pretty safe. There are certainly things we could do to make them safer, though," said Michael Powell.

Powell also says cyclists need to be visible and predictable, and both drivers and cyclists need to do shoulder checks often.

Many health officials say just a helmet could reduce the chance of a head injury in a collision.

Although Ontario has a helmet law, once you are 18 you can opt out of wearing a helmet.

With a report from CTV Ottawa's Kristy Kirkup