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‘SAME ROAD, SAME RULES, SAME RIGHTS’

- Safety Campaign Urges Cyclists and Motorists to Share Space and Respect Each Other’s Place on the Road -

(CITY OF KAWARTHA LAKES) - A new Share the Road safety campaign aims to build ‘wheel’ cooperation between cyclists and motorists in the City of Kawartha Lakes.

The most visible sign of the campaign is just that…Share the Road signs that will be installed along area roadways starting this summer. The signs will be displayed along key cycling routes that are being promoted by the City’s Economic Development Department to both local residents and visitors. The signs are designed to remind drivers and cyclists that they need to share space and respect each other’s place on the road. The awareness portion of the campaign aims to reinforce the ‘same road, same rights’ message, educate local residents about the new Share the Road signs, and promote the health benefits of cycling.

“Same roads, same rules, same rights…that’s what the Share the Road campaign is all about,” says City of Kawartha Lakes Mayor Ric McGee. “From a safety, health and economic development standpoint, encouraging cyclists and motorists to share the road makes perfect sense for our community.”

The Share the Road campaign is an initiative between the Kawartha Cycling Club, Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit, the City of Kawartha Lakes and the City of Kawartha Lakes OPP detachment. Funding is being provided by the Ontario Ministry of Transportation. To launch Share the Road, a kickoff event is slated for Friday, June 14, at 10 am at the intersection of Thunderbridge Road and Highway 35 (just on the northwest edge of Lindsay).

(NOTE TO MEDIA: You are invited to attend for photo and interview opportunities)

Art Hornibrook, a member of the Kawartha Cycling Club, says the Share the Road campaign is a way to support the growing popularity of cycling in what is largely a rural area. “The City of Kawartha Lakes is very spread out geographically, which means that more cyclists are riding on two-lane roads and sharing the space with drivers,” he says. “We want everyone to have a safe and enjoyable experience on our roads, and that means cyclists and motorists showing each other care and courtesy as they share the road.”

Since bicycles are considered vehicles under the Ontario Highway Traffic Act, cyclists have a right to ride on public roadways, notes Constable Carrie Lanning, of the City of Kawartha Lakes OPP detachment. “With that right comes the responsibility to be a safe rider who respects the rules of the road,” she adds. “Motorists also have a legal obligation to drive safely when they encounter cyclists.”

In Share the Road ads and messages to run in local media and on social media sites this summer, cyclists are encouraged to ride straight in a predictable manner, be visible by wearing bright colours and using lights at night, bike on the right with traffic, signal all turns, and obey all traffic laws. In turn, motorists are urged to slow down, not to honk at cyclists, yield to bikes when turning, give one metre clearance when passing a cyclist, and only pass when the road ahead is clear.

“Cycling is a great way to stay physically active and is an environmentally-friendly form of transportation,” says Lisa Kaldeway, a Health Promoter with the HKPR District Health Unit. “By making all road users aware of each other’s rights and responsibilities, the conditions will become safer for cycling in the Kawartha Lakes.”

For more about Share the Road, call the Health Unit at (705) 324-3569, ext. 207, or visit www.kawarthacyclingclub.com, www.hkpr.on.ca or www.sharetheroad.ca. Members of the Kawartha Cycling Club are also receiving CanBike Instructor training, and will be available to offer cycling skills training to community members.

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For media inquiries, contact:

Art Hornibrook, Vice-President, Kawartha Cycling Club, (705) 887-1449,

or Lisa Kaldeway, Health Promoter, HKPR District Health Unit, (705) 324-3569.

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