Cycle Toronto is a diverse member-supported organization that advocates for a healthy, safe, cycling-friendly city for all. We strongly support the passage of Bill 31, which in large part aims to improve cycling safety in Ontario, In particular, Cycle Toronto would like to express our support for the following elements of the Bill:
1. Permitting flashing red lights on the rear of bicycles (Section 22 (2));
2. Higher fines for distracted driving (Section 23);
3. Providing for traffic control signals specific to bicycles and allowing cycling alongside crosswalks (e.g., for two-stage left turns) (Sections 39 & 41);
4. Requiring drivers to maintain a one-metre distance when passing a cyclist (Section 43);
5. Providing for contraflow bicycle lanes on one-way streets (Section 45);
6. Permitting bicycle riding on paved highway shoulders (Section 47); ad
7. Higher fines for “doorings” – opening a vehicle door in the path of a cyclist (Section 50).
There are, however, five areas of Bill 31 that we recommend should be amended:
1. We respectfully submit that the existing requirement for reflective tape on bicycles is physically impossible to accommodate on some road bicycles (Section 22 (2));
2. We do not support the drastic increase—from $20 to $500—in maximum fines for cyclists without lights, although we would accept a smaller increase (Section 22 (3));
3. We propose language to strengthen the new one-metre passing rule (Section 43);
4. We propose a new provision clarifying that riding two-abreast is permissible under certain conditions.
5. We request that Bill 31 address the need for mandatory side-guards on large trucks.