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article imageNova Scotia introduces bicycle safety laws Special

By Kevin Jess     Nov 16, 2010 in World
Halifax - The province of Nova Scotia will introduce legislation that requires drivers of motor vehicles to leave one-metre of open space between the vehicle and cyclists when passing.
The amendments introduced to the Motor Vehicle Act last night, Nov. 15, will make Nova Scotia the first province to enact the one-metre rule, which is law in 15 U.S. states.
Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal Minister Bill Estabrooks said in a press release, "We know that Nova Scotians expect and deserve to feel safe on our roads. By clarifying the roles and responsibilities of cyclists and motorists, the rules will be clearer and safety will be enhanced."
The province has consulted with members of the cycling community on the proposed amendments that include:
-- a definition for cyclist and bicycle lane
-- prohibiting vehicle parking in a bicycle lane
-- making it an offence to fail to yield to a cyclist in a bicycle lane
-- redefining cycling on the extreme right
-- allowing drivers of vehicles to cross a centre line to pass a bicycle, if the driver can do so safely
-- requiring cyclists to ride single file and in the same direction of the traffic
Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal spokesperson Lindsay Lewis said, "The bill was introduced in the legislature Monday evening. If passed it could be a number of weeks before the law is enforced."
Statistics regarding motor vehicle accidents involving cyclists are unclear, but according to BicycleUniverse cyclists are anywhere between 3 and 11 times more likely to die as motorists, per passenger mile.
Ms Lewis said, "The proposed penalty for failing to abide by the one meter law would be $455.26 including court costs and the fine for driving in a bicycle lane would be $1260.21."
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