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dandySAFETY: Meet the expert columnists
Read our first dandySAFETY column here.
dandyhorse magazine wants to address situations that cyclists face every day in our fair city as they go about their days and transport themselves from home to work and back again.
We’ve lined up a few experienced road users to advise you on how to make your commute as safe as it can be. One is an automotive columnist with a popular daily newspaper, one is a member of the Toronto Police Services traffic division and one is the most experienced all-around cyclist in Toronto we know. None of them are shrinking violets. They are going to tell you what they really think.
We’ll also ask the local councillor, or a city planner where applicable, to update us on the roadway or infrastructure project in question.
Here’s a little more info on our dandySAFETY experts.
We’ll publish one column each month.
Send your dandySAFETY situations to: firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll give you a safety vest and some 3M reflective tape for your bike.
Enjoy these mini biographies for our dandySAFETY traffic experts below!
Jim Kenzie, automotive columnist, Toronto Star
First, thank you for allowing me to participate in this discussion! Contrary to a belief held by some cyclists, I am NOT anti-bike. I used to ride my Raleigh ten-speed (hey; back then, that was a hot set-up...) to work, in the warmer months, when I lived in Leaside, and also when I taught at Ryerson (with, among others, former Mayor David Crombie and the late Jack Layton.)
It was a straight shot through Rosedale, avoiding major roads almost the entire way. And yes, cars had been invented by then...
My daughter used to ride her bike to work here too, but she has since moved to Whitehorse.
Two different friends of mine lost their fathers when they were hit, by trucks, while cycling.
I now live in Milton, Ontario, where Canadian bike racer Jocelyn Lovell was run down by a truck some years ago.
And I once personally witnessed a really bad accident involving a bicycle courier - he looked pretty much gone when the Paramedics took him away in the ambulance. He had run a red light, swerved to avoid a car, which had proceeded (legally) into the intersection, and ran into a concrete hydro pole.
I am also always mindful of something I learned from Ernie Brown, my Grade 11 History teacher. He collected epitaphs; yes, he was a strange one... But this is the only one I remember:
Here lies the body of Jonathan Ray,
Who died defending his right-of-way.
He was right, dead right, as he rode along,
But he's just as dead as if he'd been wrong.
So I have some knowledge of the bike-versus-car thing.
I also have a strong appreciation for what a traffic fatality can do to a family. Before I was born, a sister was killed by a truck right in front of our house in Agincourt. Entirely her ‘fault’, that is, if fault can be assigned to a five-year-old kid. But the repercussions continue in our family to this very day. And who knows how the truck driver felt, innocent of wrongdoing as he was?
So, my interest in traffic safety and concern for all its victims is real.
Hugh G. Smith,Police Constable, Traffic Services
Constable Hugh Smith has been a Toronto Police Service officer since May 1987, is now the go-to guy in Traffic Services and Safety Programs. He has 10 years as a front-line officer and is one of the founding officers of the Bicycle Patrol Unit in 1990. He became a Can-Bike II Certified Instructor in 1994, and a National Can-Bike Examiner in 1999. Constable Smith continued in training as a Police Vehicle Operations instructor from 1997 to 2009, Toronto Police College, and is presently assigned to the Traffic Services Unit, Traffic Safety Programs, specializing in Cycling/Active Transportation and Communications.
Derek Chadbourne, experienced cyclist and cycling advocate
Derek is wearing the orange toque, on the right.
Derek Chadbourne was a bike messenger for 16 years, and is the owner of two Bike Joints, one on Harbord at Manning, the other at Queen and Sherbourne. He is also a founding member of Charlie's Freewheels and ARC, the Advocacy for Respect for Cyclists. He is also host of the popular Icycle ice bike races in February at Dufferin Grove park and has done a lot of other things to do with cycling, but can't remember them all right now. dandyhorse refers to Chadbourne as an advocate but he prefers "helper."
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