With summer just around the corner and a bike-friendly mayor in office, the debate on how best to share the road between cyclists and motorists is bound to heat up again very soon…
As if on cue, a video taken this week has gone viral in Montreal. In the clip taken on bodycam by a cyclist, an STM bus driver is seen passing very close to the bicycle on Sherbrooke street. No physical contact or accident resulted, but the cyclist and bus driver went on to share a heated exchange, with the former telling the bus driver he should be more careful, and the latter saying “you should be using the bike path down there”.
The STM has since the incident will be investigated, although any eventual disciplinary measures against the driver will remain confidential.
Who was in the right here? The bus driver or the cyclist?
Quebec’s Highway Safety Code states that bicycles may ride “on all public roadways except on highways and their access and exit ramps”. Cyclists are also allowed to keep a 1.5 metre distance from parked cars in order to avoid having a door opened in front of them suddenly. The cyclist in the video above was respecting the law.
Furthermore, since 2016, the Highway Safety Code also imposes a 1-metre minimum distance between cars and bicycles in urban areas (1.5 m in rural areas). Clearly, the STM bus caught on camera this week was much closer to the cyclist than he was allowed to be.