While many cyclists may have put their bikes into storage for the winter, the Ontario Medical Association is hopeful that by the time spring comes around, the province's streets will be safer for them to travel.
According to the most recent data collected from the National Trauma Registry, there were approximately 1,300 cycling-related hospitalizations in the 2009-10 fiscal year. With many cycling enthusiasts in the province, the OMA has submitted a list of recommendations to government authorities about what should be done to make the roads safer for bicycle riders.
Among the things doctors advise is making more investments in cycling infrastructure in urban, suburban and rural areas, such as installing more bike lane networks. In addition, the OMA says the Ontario Drivers' Manual should be updated to include a more comprehensive section that better describes safe vehicle-bicycle interaction.
"Riding a bike is an easy way to be active and live a healthier life, but reports of injuries and fatalities increases the perceived dangers and risk involved with riding a bike," said Stewart Kennedy, president of the OMA. "It is crucial that Ontarians increase their physical activity levels, and it's the responsibility of all levels of government to create a safe space for them to do so, including on our province's roads."