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Cycling BC Statement on the Brad Dean Case

To the British Columbia Cycling Community:

A little over a year ago 6 cyclists were injured while riding on River Road in Richmond. Tragically one of our members, Brad Dean, was killed in the accident. Global News has recently reported that the driver of the involved vehicle will be charged with an offense under the Motor Vehicle Act, driving without due care and attention, rather than the more serious charge available under Criminal Code of Canada. While Cycling BC supports the work of the police and the justice system, incidents such as this involving the death and injury of cyclists on BC roads underscores the necessity for change to our laws to ensure the safety of all users of our roads.

The particular stretch of road where this accident occurred has been the site of many accidents and near accidents involving cyclists. The particular accident that resulted in the death of Mr. Dean occurred after the motorist crossed a double centre line while navigating a curve, riding straight into the group of cyclists. While it is true that the driver involved in this tragic accident facing criminal consequences would do nothing to bring back Mr. Dean or to heal the injuries of the other injured cyclists, what it may do is change the culture on our roads, a culture in which cyclists are routinely exposed to danger due to the manner in which motorists share the road with cyclists.

Ontario and Quebec have led the way with many changes that make cycling safer and the roads more amenable to sharing between cyclists and motorists. Changes to the provisions of the Motor Vehicle Act can go a long ways towards saving the lives of cyclists and changing the culture around “sharing the road”. Distracted driving is one of the biggest dangers on our roads, for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians. The BC government has recently announced a new increased penalty system that will be put in place for distracted driving in the spring of 2018. We encourage the government to look at other means of increasing the safety of our roads, including increased fines for dooring, laws regarding the amount of space that motorists must leave when passing cyclists, designation of more roadways as cycling routes and implementation of increased fines for motorists who are driving in an unsafe way in these areas. Cyclists too can do their part to increase safety, by ensuring that they are following the rules of the road and whether riding in a group or solo, ensuring that they are sharing the road.

Our condolences go out to the Dean family on this anniversary of his death. Together as a cycling community, we can work with government and interested parties to make the roads safer for all of us.


Erin Waugh, Executive Director