The excerpted article is from the Cowichan Valley Citizen 

Insurance is available for bicyclists including for third party injury.

Shirley Hanson’s response, today, to my letter very interesting. I’d read the letter about the cyclist hitting a pedestrian with a mixture of sadness, sympathy, and anger. It’s another illustration of the need for cyclists AND cars to obey the laws. In this case, a cyclist was either riding illegally on a sidewalk or ignoring a crosswalk….and is guilty of leaving the scene! If the cyclist was not identified, the insurance issue is rather moot. Assuming the cyclist is at fault, they are responsible for the damages and should not be allowed to escape that.

Currently, 52 years after cyclists were guaranteed the right to the road by international law (Canada being one of over 150 countries signing on to that convention) I can find no country which mandates bicycle insurance; even in the Netherlands where 36 per cent of people identify bicycle as their primary commute. Insurance is available for bicyclists including for third party injury. Some home insurance policies cover that as well under their liability clauses.

Here’s a quote from a Toronto legal blog: “There is no right answer to whether or not bikes should be licensed and insured. One thing we can all agree on is that sharing the road and safety is important.”

If you think bicycle insurance should be mandatory, maybe advocate for starting at, say age 12 or 16? I don’t think the parent of a nine-year-old should have to buy it. I’m sure that the governments would study the death and injury stats and make a decision.

The injuries sustained by the unfortunate victim were not listed or reported and I extend my deepest sympathies. I’m very glad she wasn’t hit by a motor vehicle.

On the side, many cyclists who DO ride on sidewalks, probably do it from fear of some drivers who pass too closely and fail to Share the Road which is “the law”.

Peter Lake

North Cowichan

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