12 Aug 2011

Ontario doctors: More bicycle safety precautions needed

Due to rising gas prices and the popularity of bike sharing programs, more Torontonians are driving to various destinations on two wheels instead of four. But according to the Ontario Medical Association, the province isn't as bicycle-friendly as it should be.

The OMA is urging the provincial government to enact policies that will help make cycling safer for everyone, as it will encourage more people to take advantage of an ideal form of exercise.

"Two-thirds of Canadians are inactive, putting them at greater risk of chronic disease," said Stewart Kennedy, president of the OMA. "Cycling is a great a way to stay fit and a way for people of all ages to add essential physical activity to their daily lives and improve their health."

The report calls on provincial authorities to enact several policies, such as improving infrastructure by installing more bicycle paths, as well as updating the Ontario Drivers' Manual so it includes a more comprehensive section about what constitutes appropriate vehicle-bicycle interaction.

According to the OMA, 2,000 Canadians are injured every year on their bicycles in traffic accidents. Improper maintenance may be part of the reason why. To avoid this, storing a bicycle in a storage unit may help prevent it from falling into disrepair as it's kept out of the elements.

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