Coventry TransportationCoventry Transportation
The Weather Network
Nov. 29, 2021 | Monday
Editorials and Opinions
Letter: Cyclists need lights and reflective clothing

Dear editor:

I am a rural resident of Niagara-on-the-Lake and also a NOTL firefighter. I have had two encounters in the last seven days that are concerning to me, and I think to others once they read this.

I live on Line 5 and I run a company in St. Catharines. I leave the house for the office at 6 a.m. typically.

As the seasons change and we get closer to fall and winter, it is quite dark in the morning, and the days in general are getting shorter.

Twice this week I happened along a cyclist dressed in very dark clothing with not one reflector or light visible on the bike. I absolutely could not see them until I was quite close.

I find this both scary and unsettling.

As firefighters, we have seen and heard the aftermath of a needless cyclist or pedestrian vs. vehicle accidents. Horrific and unnecessary.

I am not harping on bike lanes or "us vs. them," as my wife and I do cycle in this beautiful countryside. We do it in the light of day, with some real fear of fast-moving vehicles coming from the rear that refuse to share the road.

I am asking both cyclists and the farmers that supply bikes to our very important migrant workers to take some responsibility.

Please wear light or reflective clothing. Please ensure your bike, or the bikes you provide to migrant staff, have proper, highly visible lights and/or reflectors.

When tragedy strikes, the stories in the papers always point at the driver, but there are two sides to every story. Yes, drivers have the responsibility to watch, but pedestrians and cyclists also have the responsibility to be safe and be seen.

Prevention takes one minute, but accidents last a lifetime.

Bill Maartense