The Ontario Coalition for Better Cycling as an organization is now defunct.

      The current web site was established in 1997 to promote the principle that ordinary cycling when the rules of the road are followed is an enjoyable, low risk activity. Under the banner of The Vehicular Cyclist it still subscribes to the OCBC philosophy and continues to be maintained as a source of research, news and opinion

      "Same Rights, Same Responsibilities"

      The OCBC was an umbrella group of Ontario cycling organizations and individuals. It is no longer active as an organization because its principal purpose, to fight a mandatory helmet law ended in 1995 when adults were exempted by a newly elected provincial government.

      It briefly reformed in 2004 through 2005 to fight a proposal to extend Ontario's child helmet law to include adults. The ensuing campaign was successful and the private member's bill died before it reached third and final reading in the legislature.

      Originally the OCBC existed not only fight an Ontario helmet law but also to defend cyclists' rights and interests, particularly the 100 plus year old right of access to public highways as drivers of vehicles.

      In the Ontario, a cyclist is the driver of vehicle by way of the definition of a bicycle as a vehicle in the Province's Highway Traffic Act. Ontario's cyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as other drivers of vehicles.

      Ontario's traffic law provides fair protection of these rights when interpreted literally by Ontario's police, government, and the courts. Unfortunately the latter is frequently not always the case and as such the view that cyclists should yield their space to drivers of motor vehicles still prevails.

      The OCBC endorsed the phrase coined by the world's leading bicycle transportation engineer, John Forester, "cyclists fare best when they act and are treated as drivers of vehicles".

      Forester's rules of the road, vehicular cycling principles are the basis of the Canadian Cycling Association's CAN-BIKE cycle skills training program. The OCBC advocated that the province's Ministry of Education introduce the necessary policies for all Ontario's children to acquire the vehicular cycling skills as taught by the CAN-BIKE program.

      Cycling using these skills to follow the rules of the road becomes a very low risk activity little different from walking. Despite its promotion of education and training, little has been done by the provincial government to address "cycling-ed" needs.

      In conjunction with the promotion of vehicular cycling education, the OCBC also acted to foster a greater understanding among Ontarians of the value to all road users when cyclists apply and are allowed to apply vehicular practices by following the rules of the road as written, not as in many cases, illegally practiced.

      In carrying out its mandate, the OCBC compiled considerable amount of research on cycling accidents and their causes, some of which was original research. Because of the value of this research and the importance of skillful driving by all drivers regardless of the vehicle being used, this site will be maintained to add relevant new information as it becomes available.

      Avery Burdett

      E-mail: The Vehicular Cyclist
December 2019 (amended from original November 2008 post)
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