Last Updated: Monday, September 14, 2009 | 12:42 PM ET
Police started targeting bicycle safety violations after five people were injured when their bicycles were hit by a minivan in Ottawa’s west end in July.
More than 340 cyclist were ticketed for safety violations in Ottawa last month, and police handed out 500 free bicycle bells to cyclists who didn’t have them, all part of the city’s road safety program.
Hundreds of information pamphlets on safe cycling were also handed out at locations known to be a high risk for collisions between bicycles and cars, police said.
The free bicycle bells were provided in a partnership between the city and the outdoors-equipment store Fresh Air Experience.
In the same month, 500 drivers were charged with running red lights, police said.
Ottawa’s Integrated Road Safety Program was set up in 2003 by the city’s public works and health departments, working with the police service.
Each month since 2004, the program has enforced two initiatives that target specific traffic safety priorities.
The targeting of cyclists followed the accident that injured five cyclists who were hit by a minivan on March Road in Ottawa’s west end July 19.
All five were treated in hospital.
Sommit Luangpakham, 45, was charged with five counts of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing bodily harm, following a police investigation of the collision.