Canada: 'Why are people still getting hit?': Family demands action after cyclist is critically injured - PressFrom - Canada
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Canada'Why are people still getting hit?': Family demands action after cyclist is critically injured

20:06  13 august  2019
20:06  13 august  2019 Source:   ottawacitizen.com

'Hoping for a miracle': Family of critically injured cyclist holds breath

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The boy was hit by a car at what his parents said is a very dangerous intersection near a school and church, and the family has demanded action so other children will not get hurt. “And this is the second person who is critically injured in our community within the last month.

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'Why are people still getting hit?': Family demands action after cyclist is critically injured Family handout photo of Idan Azrad.

The family of a cyclist who’s in critical condition after a collision is calling on the city to do more to ensure safety for all road users.

Twenty-seven-year-old Idan Azrad was riding his bike to work down Renaud Road on August 8, a route he’d taken many times before, when he was involved in a collision with a vehicle.

“The last person he was talking to before he left for work that morning was his three-month-old niece,” said Brittany Lepp, Azrad’s sister-in-law. “He said ‘I love you, I’ll see you when I get home’ and he never came home.”

Azrad is at the hospital in critical condition leaving his family concerned and missing an uncle, brother and son.

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“He is the most amazing uncle,” Lepp said.

'Why are people still getting hit?': Family demands action after cyclist is critically injured © Julie Oliver The family of Idan Azrad, 27, – who was hit by a car while riding his bike last Wednesday – just wants some time to pray for him, they say. They are (from left): younger brother Roee Azrad sister Keren Hamisha, mother and father, Tina and Robert Azrad, older brother David Azrad and his fiancé Brittany Lepp with their three-month-old daughter, Jade.

Police said the situation is under investigation, but Lepp said more needs to be done to prevent this from happening in the future.

She said the city isn’t doing enough to ensure cyclists can safely travel the road, citing the numerous other incidents that have occurred in the past couple of months — two of which happened in Orléans including the July 23 crash that killed a 13-year-old cyclist.

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“They’re told they’re not supposed to ride on the sidewalk, so they ride on the road and they get hit,” she said. “People who enjoy cycling have to be more cautious and more aware… Because of careless drivers.”

Lepp said the pre-existing infrastructure isn’t working and she believes a solution is to adapt a Vision Zero mandate, referring to a traffic safety project that aims to eliminate road deaths or serious injuries.

“The city can say ‘oh we put a bike lane specifically for cyclists’,” she said. “But if it was actually doing its job, why are people still getting hit?”

Stephen Blais, council’s transportation chairman, did not respond to a request to comment on whether the city would re-consider adapting a Vision Zero mandate.

Lepp said she is also upset by the reaction Azrad received on social media, with several accounts blaming him because it was reported he wasn’t wearing a helmet.

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“The fact at the end of the day is — helmet or no helmet — he still would have gotten hit,” she said.

'Why are people still getting hit?': Family demands action after cyclist is critically injured Family handout photo of Idan Azrad.

Érinn Cunningham, a board member of the cyclist advocacy group Bike Ottawa, said in a previous interview on the collision that helmets offer little protection when involved in high speed collisions.

“There’s not a conclusive body of evidence that suggests that a cycling helmet would prevent a serious injury like this,” he said. “Where we know cycling helmets are effective are low speed tumbles.”

Cunningham said the focus on whether or not a cyclist is wearing a helmet can unintentionally put the blame on the cyclist, when that’s not always the case.

“It tends to put, whether intentional or not, the onus on the cyclists for their own safety,” he said. “In short, helmets are not a substitute for safe infrastructure.”

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