We North Americans need to get over ourselves every time we get behind the wheel of a car.
The road is not solely ours: we have to share it with others, like horseback riders. We’ve heard stories of riders falling into ditches after drivers startled their horses, and others who have suffered grievous injuries because of similar problems.
Riders have to follow Motor Vehicles Act rules, so cars should treat them as vehicles.
The courtesy shouldn’t just extend to horses. Port Alberni will be getting bicycle lanes in some parts of town in an effort to integrate two-wheeled with four-wheeled traffic. The city engineer proposed a plan to introduce bike lanes so both types of transportation can learn to live with each other, and it’s a good approach.
The Ministry of Transportation has heard the horseback riders by erecting signs in rural areas warning motorists that horses and riders use those rural roads. Now, it’s up to drivers to take up the campaign, giving horseback riders a wide berth and slowing down while passing them.
There are other countries in the world, like India and China, where it seems there are no rules of the road, yet everyone seems to be able to get from point A to point B without serious bodily harm. We should be able to do that here in North America too.
We need to learn to share the road, and realize that just because a metal vehicle is bigger than a bicycle or harder than a horse doesn’t mean we win.
There is no prize for running a horse and rider off the road, or squeezing out a cyclist.