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Urge the Federal Government to Mandate Truck Side Guards

Side guards on trucks can help prevent serious injury and death in collisions with cyclists and pedestrians.

From the Globe and Mail:

Side guards are designed to prevent exposed road users, such as pedestrians and cyclists, from falling under the sides of trucks and getting crushed by the back wheels. The recent death of a cyclist in Toronto has reignited the issue of whether the federal government should make them mandatory.

The family members of cyclists who have died in collisions with trucks are urging the Federal Government to take action. From Grieving families plead for truck side guards:

“The Canadian government has a responsibility to ensure the safety of its citizens. Side guards are a no-brainer, like seatbelts and airbags,” said Karen MacNeil Hartmann, whose husband, cyclist Ulrich Hartmann, was killed by a cement truck on Sept. 11, 2006. 

Speaking at the Kensington Market yoga studio where Jenna Morrison taught before the young, pregnant cyclist was killed by a truck earlier this month, MacNeil Hartmann said she still searches her soul to understand the senseless death of the man she described as a “gentle teddy bear.”

In addition to protecting cyclists, side guards can also protect people in automobiles, SUVs and pickup trucks.

Take Action
Safetrucks.ca has a lot of information and ways that you can help out. They have also started a petition in support of safer trucks.

While the federal government needs to take action to make side guards mandatory throughout the country, cities, companies and other organizations can help by installing side guards on their trucks and requiring their suppliers to do the same. Montreal borough St. Laurent, has started installing side guards on their trucks.

MP Oliva Chow has introduced Bill C-344 calling for mandatory side guards on trucks. There is also a petition in support of the bill on her site.

Please email Denis.lebel@parl.gc.ca and cc your Member of Parliament in support of mandatory side guards on trucks.

Also cc: olivia.chow@parl.gc.ca, Elizabeth.may@parl.gc.ca, denis.coderre@parl.gc.ca, James.Moore@parl.gc.ca, John.Weston@parl.gc.ca, Fin.Donnelly@parl.gc.ca, Libby.Davies@parl.gc.ca, Joyce.Murray@parl.gc.ca, Hedy.Fry@parl.gc.ca

Here is the BCCC’s letter:

January 10, 2012
The Honourable Denis Lebel
Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities
330 Sparks Street
Ottawa, ON    K1A 0N5
Dear Minister Lebel:
Re: Truck Side Guard Legislation
The British Columbia Cycling Coalition strives to encourage all levels of government to make cycling a safe and enjoyable means of transportation for everyone.
On May 9, 2007, Ms. Olivia Chow MP introduced a petition in the Commons asking for legislation that trucks and trailers in Canada have underrun protection similar to the European ECE Regulation No. 73. The petition was initiated by the Toronto Cycling Committee after a number of cycling deaths involving trucks. Further support was found in a recommendation by the 1998 analysis of deaths among Toronto’s cyclists by the Regional Coroner for Toronto. Soon after she introduced the petition, two cyclists were killed in Portland, OR, as a result of collisions with trucks. One accident was due to a cyclist being in the blind spot of a truck.
The Regional Coroner for Toronto concluded that trucks and other heavy vehicles were involved in 37% of accidents leading to the deaths of cyclists in that city. The British Columbia Coroner’s study of bicycling deaths in BC over the period 1986 to 1995 showed that in 34% of the cases a cyclist died as a result of a collision with a truck or other heavy vehicle. This latter analysis also shows that bicycle helmets offer only limited protection in accidents with trucks, especially when the cyclist is pulled under the wheels of the truck or the trailer.
At the time,  the Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition, one of our member organizations, wrote a letter to the then Minister of Transportation asking him to introduce legislation requiring that large motor vehicles like trucks and trailers have sideguards in order to protect cyclists and pedestrians from serious injury or death in the event of a collision.
As cities around Canada are actively encouraging the use of bicycles, we will see a continuous increase in the number of bicycles on the road, not only in the cities, but also on provincial roads. We think it therefore mandatory that the government should move on this issue with laws and rules that will make traffic safer. In particular, underrun protection and blind spot mirrors are relatively cheap and effective measures to increase the safety around trucks and other heavy vehicles. They can prevent fatalities and serious injuries in case of accidents.
In Europe, open side underrun protection has been mandatory since 1995. There is, however, a movement to take an additional step and make closed side underrun protection mandatory. Closed protection is safer in that victims cannot be caught in the protection itself and has two added benefits: better fuel efficiency, and less spray when it rains. It is important to note that (side) underrun protection is to the benefit of cyclists, pedestrians, motorcyclists, and car drivers. Making it mandatory would increase traffic safety for all road users and would also reduce health care and insurance costs
In addition to underrun protection, blind spot mirrors are another important device for increasing the safety around trucks. The better the driver can see what is going on around the vehicle, the better he or she can anticipate the admittedly sometimes less than admirable behaviour of other traffic participants.
Accidents involving trucks have a high human toll. These accidents are more likely to result in fatalities and serious injuries and vulnerable road users like bicyclists and pedestrians are often the victims. But let us also not forget the trauma these accidents can cause to the truck drivers when the circumstances of the accident show that nothing done on their part could have prevented the deadly outcome.
MP Olivia Chow has now renewed her efforts to encourage the Government of Canada to introduce legislation to make sideguard protection on trucks mandatory.  Since 2007, we know that at least 2 cyclists have died in Metro Vancouver from crashes involving trucks and recently cyclists in Toronto and Victoria where run over and killed by trucks. 
The British Columbia Cycling Coalition therefore urges you to initiate and support legislation on this issue that will make Canada’s streets and highways safer for all road users, especially the most vulnerable.
Sincerely,
Richard Campbell,
President, British Columbia Cycling Coalition
president@bccc.bc.ca
cc:            Olivia Chow, NDP Transportation Critic                                   
Elizabeth May, Leader, Green Party of Canada                       
Hon. Denis Coderre,  Liberal Party Transportation Critic           
Hon. James Moore – MP Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam
John Weston – MP West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country
Fin Donnelly, MP New Westminster—Coquitlam
Libby Davies, MP Vancouver East
Joyce Murray, MP Vancouver Quadra
Hon. Hedy Fry, MP Vancouver Centre

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A Great AGM on Saltspring

A great AGM and weekend on Saltspring. Thanks to John Rowlandson, new president Brenda Guiled and all the members of Island Pathways for being such fantastic hosts.

Photo – J. Rowlandson

Welcome to all the new directors Rob Bernhardt, Kevin Chan, Rand Chatterjee, Arne Elias, David Hay, Richard Littlemore, Joshua Prowse, Sam Stephens, Ken Wuschke and welcome back to the returning directors Jim Alix, Jack Becker, Colin Brander, Brian Collier, Rhiannon Chernencoff, Arno Schortinghuis, Ed Schum and Peter Stary.

As the new BCCC president, I am excited that we have such a talented board with a diverse range of experiences. A special thanks to outgoing president Jack Becker for his tremendous contributions to the BCCC and cycling in the province. He is staying on the board as Past President and will be very busy over the next few months in his role as Conference Director of Velo-city Global 2012 Vancouver.

Thanks also to Ken Wuschke for standing for nomination as president. I believe this is the first time we have had an actually election, an important milestone for the BCCC. Ken spoke passionately of the need to ensure that the BCCC effectively represents cyclists throughout the province and provides local cycling groups and chapters with the support they need to be successful.  I look forward to working with Ken and other directors on making the BCCC BCCC a strong province-wide organization.

Thank you to the former directors who have stepped down including Rob Rao, who did a great job as Vice President; Sue Vince; Joe Goodwill and Peter Kortegast.

European Cyclists’ Federation Secretary General Dr. Bernhard Ensink, spoke to the goal of the ECF to help facilitate the creation of a world cycling organization and suggested that the BCCC should join the ECF and participate in these discussions. The board will consider putting in an application at an upcoming board meeting.

The AGM finished off with discussions on provincial cycling safety and tourism strategies, two important BCCC initiatives for the coming year.

Island Pathways AGM
Salish Sea Bicycle Circuit

At the Island Pathways AGM on Saturday, it was quite inspiring to hear more about all the great initiatives Island Pathways are working on including Velo Villagehttp://velo-village2012.blogspot.com/Partners Creating Pathways, the Bicycle Working GroupHelmets for Life, the Historical Bike MapBicycle Racks at Island businesses and the Salish Sea Bicycle Circuit.

Ride to Ruckle

The weather was nice and sunny on Sunday morning for the ride to Ruckle Park. The bicycles, however, were not so cooperative with cable repairs and my slow leak quickly becoming too fast to ignore. I ended up having to turn the tire inside out in the end to find the little bit of glass that was the culprit. Still, Saltspring is a beautiful place to ride and it was nice to finally get the leak fixed.

Moving Forward
In the coming weeks, we will be planning our strategies for the following year. Let us know what your ideas are for improving cycling in BC. While we do have a large and talented board, there is much work to be done to take advantage of all the opportunities to improve cycling in BC. These opportunities are only limited by the amount of effort we put it so if you would like to help out, please contact us.

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European Cyclists’ Federation Secretary-General to Attend BCCC AGM

We are excited to announce that European Cyclists’ Federation Secretary General Dr. Bernhard Ensink will be attending the BCCC Cycling Coalition AGM. The AGM is on Sunday, December 11, 2011 from Noon to 3:00 pm at Fulford Hall, 2591 Fulford Ganges Road, Saltspring Island. Dr. Ensink will be also addressing the Island Pathways‘ AGM, 7:00 pm Saturday, December 10 at All Saints By-­the-sea. Both events are open to the public.
 

Dr. Ensink is in British Columbia for meetings with the Veloworks Cycling Society, the organizing body for this summer’s Velo‐city 2012 Global conference in Vancouver. The conference, which runs from 26­‐29 June, is the first time since 2000 that the ECF has held a Velo-­city conference outside of Europe and the first time that such an event has been held within the Pacific rim region. 
The European Cyclists’ Federation is comprised of 65 member organizations representing more than half a million individual citizens from almost 40 countries. ECF promotes cycling as a sustainable and healthy means of transportation and recreation in Europe and exports cycling expertise worldwide.

Leading up to Velo‐city 2012 Global, Velo Village, a celebration of rural cycling, will be held on Salt Spring Island from 21 to 23 June 2012. Its themes of safety, community and connectivity will be brought to life through local exhibits, a rural cycling think tank, guided rides, performances, and demonstrations of rural mobility solutions.

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Call for Directors – Help Us Move Cycling Forward in BC

The British Columbia Cycling Coalition (BCCC) is seeking individuals to stand for nomination to our board of directors at the Annual General Meeting on December 11, 2011. With Velo-city Global, the world’s premier cycling conference coming to BC in June 2012, this is an exciting time to be involved in cycling. With your help, the BCCC will be able to leverage this great opportunity to move cycling forward in the province. 
About the BCCC
The British Columbia Cycling Coalition (BCCC) is a registered Non-Profit Society whose members are individuals and cycling organization throughout the province.
Specifically, the BCCC:
 Advocates for improved cycling funding, policies, laws and education at the provincial level
-  Supports local cycling coalitions and chapters throughout British Columbia
The organization is currently volunteer run with the majority of work being performed by members of the board of directors. The current board recognizes that the growth and effectiveness of the organization is limited under this model. The intent is to transition to a model where day-to-day operations are managed by staff and volunteers while the board provides organizational and advocacy leadership and governance. This transition, however, will likely consume a significant amount of board time over the next two years.
A Great Opportunity
The change in political leadership in BC presents an idea opportunity to increase support for cycling including:
 Increase in funding for cycling infrastructure, education and promotion
- Policies ensuring good cycling facilities on new and existing roads and bridges
- Updates to the Motor Vehicle Act to improve cycling safety and encourage more people to cycle
Experience and Skills
We are looking for individuals who are passionate about cycling with experience in one or more of the following areas.


Fundraising 

· Foundation and corporate grants, donations and memberships
· Individual memberships and donations

Organizational Development
· Development strategies
· Reorganization and measures needed to support staff
· Support for chapters and coalitions
· Assist in the creation of new chapters and cycling groups in communities around BC
· Support for advocacy efforts
· Volunteer coordination

Membership Development
· The development of a membership strategy
· Corporate and individual membership recruitment

Communications
· Redesign of website based on a content management system
· On-line donations and membership payment
· Forums, wikis and other information sharing mechanisms
· Integration of social media
· Electronic newsletter
· A good writer and storyteller

Advocacy
· Government relations
· Organizing and coordinating grassroots campaigns

Networking
· Contacts in governments and bicycle industry
· Ability to quickly make new contacts and connections

Insurance
· Negotiating with insurance providers

President
As our president has served his two-year term, we are looking for an individual that can step into this leadership role.
Time Requirements
Board business – Basic board business will require an average of one hour per week and consist mainly of responding to email messages on organizational business.
Additional Responsibilities – In addition, we encourage board members to undertake further organizational responsibilities as detailed above that may require up to an additional five hours per week.
Board Meetings – Monthly electronic meetings using Skype. Three to four meetings including the AGM per year on weekends in communities around BC.
Board nominees are encouraged but not required to attend the AGM.
Contact
If you are interested or would like more information, please contact:
Richard Campbell
Chair
Board Recruitment Committee
604-733-1764

Email

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