( Note you can read the governments responce to this in my blog post)

Cyclist Danger Zone Sign Proposal
with Responses
by Daniel J Towsey

Attention February 20th 2010
Nova Scotia Transportation Minister Bill Estabrooks [email protected]
Please note This is a Publicly Published Letter

I am writing this article in hopes that what I will write here will bring about a new standard in street signs pertaining to the safety of cyclists on public streets.

I have been a cyclist for over forty years and absolutely loved the freedom and mobility, not to mention the health benefits to me and the environment.

Unfortunately I have recently been severely injured in an accident where an un-attentive motorist pulled out from a side street and made a left turn without ever making any effort to look for a cyclist coming down the hill (that being me).

I have been permanently injured and disabled. I am absolutely fortunate to have survived and I am now writing this as a victim of this situation of none existent signs for dangerous conditions ahead for cyclists.

We have signs for every imaginable hazard be it a family of ducks, the blind and deaf etc etc but there are no signs to warn motorists that they are approaching conditions that are very hazardous to cyclists, Such as blind crests, narrow curved roads where there is not enough room to pass cyclists.

For example if a cyclist approaches a traffic light. Just about all intersections have very narrow lanes at the intersections because planners always narrow the lanes to put in left turn lanes. This is especially the case in ancient winding downtown streets.

Please note that the downtown areas of cities is where you’ll find most cyclists.

Cyclist danger signs are especially needed on large hills where cyclists can gain good speeds going down and are moving exceptionally slow going up hills both of which give more reason for drivers to be aware of cyclist danger zones.

Another idea needs to be that some of the cyclist danger zones signs for downhill will need to be double sided as drivers coming from the opposite direction, such as in my case where drivers are getting ready to pull out left or right need to see a danger sign on their left when contemplating pulling out onto a street with a hill where cyclists can approach very quickly.

It seems to me that dumb drivers usually only look for large vehicles. and I think there needs to be severe penalties for any motorist that injures cyclists and pedestrians and that traditional traffic violations (fines) penalties should never be applied in these situations. There needs to be a new legal standard to always have a judge decide as to the penalty to the motorist when they injure or kill pedestrians and cyclists. Criminal charges should always be a choice. This would be a great detergent for drivers. Standard fines should never be considered as fair in the situation of injuring cyclists and pedestrians.

Insured drivers don’t give a second thought to damage they do to people. The insurance pays and the drivers just go on their marry way while leaving people dead or injured and disabled for life.

The penalties need to be significant and criminal, In this way drivers will be allot more careful to look for pedestrians and cyclists.

Drivers have to get out of this indifference mind-set of pedestrians and cyclists being just like a vehicles on the street.

A persons life and body are not a vehicle. At present damage peoples bodies are treated worse than damage to vehicles.

At present if a vehicle is damaged it is almost always immediately repaired no matter what the cost.

I’ll give you an example.

At present I am unable to get a nights sleep because of my numerous broken ribs, spinal injury, internal injuries. etc. My doctors have all told the insurance I need an orthopedic bed. The insurance would never hesitate to replace a car seat immediately but will not provide me with what I need immediately to help to repair the damages done to me and my life. The situation is much worse then this. Priority is always placed on vehicle repairs and never on pedestrian and cyclists body damages.

When are we as a society going to value human life and a persons quality of life over the quality of a vehicle. If a luxury car were damaged it would be immediately repaired at any cost, but this is not the case when a driver destroys or disables a cyclists quality of life.

Another example of hazards to cyclists is when a large vehicle such as a bus or truck goes wide to pass a cyclist and the drivers behind can never see that these large vehicles are actually passing a cyclist. This always happens on very narrow streets and the blinded drivers are never paying attention for a cyclist. This is the kind of place where these cyclist danger signs are needed.

I think that if towns had cyclist danger signs around that it would condition drivers to start paying more attention for cyclists and it would remind them to always keep an eye out for potentially dangerous areas for cyclists.

I recommend that a large sign be used, I recommend a square sign turned on its axis with bright neon green background and a picture of a bicycle in the center and a black arrow at the top to point ahead to the danger.

These signs need to be on the large size or they will just blend in with no parking signs and the such and people will just be conditioned to ignore the signs..

Oh and how about putting allot more consideration in providing clearly marked cyclist lanes on all hills...

The cost of signs is absolutely minor in comparison to the cost to society of the injured’s medical costs and the added costs to help sustain the disabled for the rest of their lives.

I will so very much miss being able to go down a nature trail with my mountain bike and to take pictures of beautiful Nova Scotia’s wilderness. I will never again be able to ride a bike...... I am so sad for that...I also will not be able to walk down a trail, I can no longer do many things.

I would love it if you would consider my services to scout locations in need of cyclists danger signs throughout Nova Scotia. This would be easily done with the aid of a GPS unit.

Please note soon I will also be writing you on the Issue of Pedestrian Crosswalks.

Thank you for your consideration on the topic..Now lets see some signs of change.

I eagerly await your written response to me on all the issues I have mentioned above.

Daniel J Towsey
The Visionary Folk Photographer

FREE HI-RES Picture downloads available at http://danieltowsey.photoshop.com

Also forwarded by e-mail to
The Honourable John Baird
Federal Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities
[email protected]
Please write me back on your opinions to my Cyclist Danger Zones Signs
recommendations..I eagerly await your response.