Confrontation between STM driver and cyclist goes viral, ignites right-of-way debate
Footage of a confrontation between an STM bus driver and a cyclist went viral after it was posted to the internet this week.
Stefan Popovic was heading east on Sherbrooke St. on his bike when he catches up to an STM driver at the next bus stop.
They argue – the driver saying Popovic should be one block south, on De Maisonneuve, where there’s a designated bike path, instead of travelling along Sherbrooke.
Now, the bus driver in question may face disciplinary measures.
“We take the incident seriously, since the safety and respect of all those sharing the road are among the guiding principles for our drivers, even if it’s complicated,” an STM spokesperson wrote in an email. “The employee will be met with and the appropriate measures taken.”
By law, when a vehicle passes a cyclist in a zone where the speed limit is less than 50 km/h, there needs to be at least one meter of space between them.
But in an email to CTV Montreal, police point out another section of the Highway Safety Code that states “every person on a bicycle must ride on the extreme right-hand side of the roadway in the same direction as traffic, except when about to make a left turn, when travel against the traffic is authorized, or in cases of necessity,
Velo Quebec said the incident is scary, but the argument that cyclists should only be on bike paths isn’t valid.
“I guess if we’re asking that we can also ask if driver have a responsibility to not take local streets if that makes them get to their destination even faster,” said Magali Bebronne of Velo Quebec. “Cyclists are allowed to use all streets. That cyclist had the right to be there.”