The Canadian Cycling Association (CCA) is advising riders to stick with the flow of traffic, rather than risk riding against it.
In the latest of a series of safe-riding tips, the CCA writes, “Statistics show that young riders are more apt to be injured because of riding against the traffic flow. Some cyclists illegally ride the wrong way on one way streets to avoid nearby high traffic streets. Often one-way streets are designed as a traffic control devices to keep auto traffic out of neighbourhoods. Cyclists may not understand that they are out of the driver’s field of vision when they choose to ride against traffic.
“Canadian cyclists face fines of $80 to $100 for cycling against traffic. Advise children to keep their bike-chain-side of the bike next to the curb and they will find themselves safely riding on the right.”
Wrong-way cycling is commonly taught as a ‘safety’ technique to very young riders, whose parents reason that a child will be safer if he or she can see the oncoming traffic. But studies show that riding against traffic is a contributing factor in as many as 30 percent of car-bike collisions, while riders traveling predictably with the traffic are far less likely to be hit.
The problem, as CCA points out, is that drivers simply don’t expect cyclists to be riding against the flow of traffic. This is especially so at junctions, where a driver who is, say, turning out of a t-junction will not be looking for oncoming riders in the ‘safe’ direction of receding traffic.
The message is part of the CCA’s CAN-BIKE program, a series of courses on all aspects of cycling safely on the road. Take a look at the CAN-BIKE website for more tips and details.