Posted by Editoress on 01/23/08
Important Meeting For All Concerned About Cycling Safety
Courtesy Andrew Darke, President, Newmarket Eagles Cycling Club
You cannot afford to miss this meeting!
The Newmarket Eagles Cycling Club has organized a special meeting for Tuesday February 5, 7:00 PM at the Aurora Public Library (Magna Room #1). The library is located at 15145 Yonge St., Aurora - east side of Yonge just south of Wellington.
The speaker will be Eleanor McMahon, principle of McMahon Communications, Burlington, Ontario.
Eleanor is an accomplished public relations strategist - having at one time served as Press Secretary for Prime Minister Jean Chretien. She recently founded the "Share The Road Cycling Coalition" - an organization dedicated to creating cycling friendly communities, enhancing cycling infrastructure and improving cycling safety, throughout the province of Ontario.
Eleanor's husband, OPP Sgt. Greg Stobbart, was killed by a truck while cycling in Milton in 2006. The driver of the truck had 5 previous convictions for driving while suspended, 2 convictions for driving without insurance and owed $14,000 in unpaid fines. His sentence was 2 years probation, 1 year license suspension and 100 hours of community service, which he is currently appealing - and the Crown, in turn, is appealing the sentence.
Eleanor is lobbying for increased penalties in Ontario for careless and dangerous driving - including increased fines, impounding of vehicles and prison terms for repeat offenders (measures that already exist in some other provinces). She has been very active in promoting the goals of the Share The Road Cycling Coalition, including meetings with the the Transport Ministers of Ontario and Quebec, members of the Ontario cabinet, the Premier of Ontario and a number of city Mayors. She has also met with OPP Commssioner Julian Fantino. One of the goals of the Coalition is the introduction of "safe passing" legislation, which exists in some US states.
Further to attending a cycling planning conference in Kitchener in November, Eleanor is one of a group of cycling advocates charged with creating a plan to establish a grassroots, province-wide cycling organization. She is working to shape this organizationÃ¢â‚¬Å¡s future and will update us on this, in her presentation.
The meeting will be open to the public and we are hoping that Municipal and Regional politicians and administrators will attend.
All Club members are urged to attend and support this initiative and make their voice and presence felt - If you can make it to a Tuesday Time Trial in July you can surely spare a cold and dark Tuesday evening in February.
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