E-scooters will soon be available in Vernon as the city readies to launch a shared scooter program as part of a provincial pilot project. (Contributed image).

E-scooters will soon be available in Vernon as the city readies to launch a shared scooter program as part of a provincial pilot project. (Contributed image).

Drivers, turn with caution: City of Vernon, Mounties

Reminder comes ahead of shared scooter program launching later this month

Vernon Mounties and city officials are reminding everyone to take care of one another when utilizing roadways this summer.

Warm weather has more people out riding bikes, skating — whether it’s boards, blades or quads — and rolling out on scooters, but vehicles are a risk.

Motorists can expect more electric scooter users soon, as the city is set to launch its shared electric scooter program later this month as part of a provincial pilot program.

“According to ICBC, the behaviours that most often lead to cyclists being struck by a vehicle are distracted driving and drivers failing to yield the right of way,” said the City of Vernon’s active transportation coordinator, Angela Broadbent.

“Fortunately, there are small habits we can practice while driving to keep people safe,” she said. “We need to avoid distractions and we need to pause and take the time to turn with care.”

Around 80 per cent of crashes involving cyclists in British Columbia occur at intersections and often when the driver is turning.

Vernon North Okanagan RCMP and the City of Vernon are reminding motorists to take a moment to scan for cyclists and turn with care.

• Always shoulder check before turning right. Remember, cyclists have the right of way in bike lanes and you need to yield to them before crossing one.

• Look both ways for cyclists before turning left.

• Be aware that cyclists can ride in both directions on multi-use pathways and on the 30th street cycle track. If you see an “elephant’s foot” crossing (small painted white squares), it indicates a pathway that crosses the street and you need to check both ways.

Vernon RCMP media relations officer Const. Chris Terleski said focus on the road, expect the unexpected and avoid distractions that could jeopardize your own or others’ safety.

“Always scan right and left for cyclists at intersections before continuing through.”

“Even if you don’t ride, it’s helpful to learn the rules of the road for bikes and other devices – such as skateboards and scooters – to better understand when they have the right of way,” Broadbent added.

Learn more about the rules of road online at Vernon.ca/vernonmoves.

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