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Another case of car versus cyclist highlights the need for drivers to pay better attention to dedicated bike lanes.

In Kelowna, a driver has been found 100 percent at fault for hitting a cyclist at an intersection while trying to make a right turn.

The plaintiff cyclist was cycling northbound in a dedicated bike lane approaching an intersection on a green light.

At the intersection, the designated bike lane was to the right of a designated right-hand turn lane.

The cyclist entered the intersection, intending to travel straight through, when the defendant driver, travelling northbound in the designated right-hand turn lane, turned right at the intersection across the cyclist’s path. The motorist struck the cyclist’s left shoulder, causing her to fall.

Did you know? 7,500 cyclists are injured every year in Canada.

Judge clarifies right hand lane rules for drivers and cyclists

ICBC argued the driver should not be found at fault for various reasons, including that the cyclist should have left the designated bike lane and moved into the lane intended for vehicles travelling straight through the intersection. The court rejected this argument and found the motorist 100 percent at fault.

In making his decision, the judge examined the law and clarified the duties of cyclists and motorists with respect to the use of designated bike lanes. In the absence of signs indicating that cyclists should do otherwise, cyclists are intended to remain within the designated bike lane, regardless of whether they intend to turn right or continue through an intersection.

Cyclists can expect that vehicles will not drive in the dedicated bike lanes and will yield to cyclists using those lanes, just as drivers can expect that cyclists will use dedicated bike lanes where available.

In this case, the motorist should have allowed the cyclist to cross the intersection before commencing the right turn.

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