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It is no longer active as an organization because its principal purpose, to fight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
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,
"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.
E-mail: The Vehicular Cyclist