Proposed Changes to the BC Motor Vehicle Act – How Do They Affect Pedestrians and Cyclists?

Modernizing the BC Motor Vehicle Act will help reduce collisions, injuries, and death, as well as help control ICBC premiums that have recently skyrocketed. The BC Road Safety Law Reform Group, which represents over 50,000 Canadians, has proposed a number of recommendations to modernize the Act. These recommendations would protect vulnerable road users and provide safe options for transportation. Two important changes are the Safer Passing Law and the Safer Neighborhood Speeds Law; they are outlined below.


Safer Passing Law – Protecting people cycling, walking, and using wheelchairs

Cycling and walking are popular activities enjoyed by the majority of people in BC. Much needs to be done to create safe walking and cycling networks that connect our communities. This law would require a motor vehicle to pass a vulnerable road user (a person cycling, walking, using a wheelchair, or riding a horse) by at least 1.5 metres. If there is more than one lane for traffic in the same direction, the driver would have to change into the next lane to pass, further improving road safety.

In the current BC Motor Vehicle Act, there is no designated passing distance to direct people in safe road use, nor to hold people accountable for unsafe road use. If this recommendation is supported, it will help increase road safety for all.


Safer Neighborhood Speeds Law – Making our neighborhoods safer for the most vulnerable

Lowering the default neighborhood speed limits will dramatically improve safety in our communities; it is widely recommended by health agencies as surveys show that speeding on residential streets was a serious threat to their personal safety. This law would require that all vehicle travel at a maximum of 30km/hr on neighborhood streets (streets without a centre line). Evidence from other cities show that the introduction of lower speed limits were associated with a reduction in road casualties, for both cyclists and pedestrians.


To read more about the proposed amendments, visit this page.


If you are a road user that was a victim of either a vehicle travelling too close or a vehicle travelling too quickly in a neighborhood, please call us at 604-684-0040. The personal injury lawyers at John Mickelson Law Corporation can help you secure the financial compensation and medical assistance you need. We are happy to provide service in our Vancouver, Surrey, or Abbotsford office.

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