Cyclists are injured or killed every day because of motorist inattention, aggression, or recklessness. Just last month, the Ride of Silence honoured them, with a secondary aim of reminding motorists of cyclists’ right (and legal obligation) to be on the roads.
Wyatt’s cartoon, blaming cyclists for road accidents, is poorly timed and in very bad taste. The message is disrespectful of those cyclists whose lives have been lost or changed forever due to accidents involving motorists.
These accidents of course carry a significantly higher risk for cyclists than for drivers protected by the structure of their vehicles. Sure, cyclists make some mistakes, and some fail to follow all the rules of the road. However, motorists do the same, and just as frequently, if not more so, sometimes with tragic consequences.
As Wyatt likely knows well, a group of concerned cyclists has formed the Whitehorse Urban Cycling Coalition. One main objective of the coalition is to reduce the animosity many motorists have for cyclists who are trying to share the road, as chronically evidenced by the vitriolic comments on every single news article published about cycling.
Wyatt’s cartoon only serves to increase the polarization between the two groups who share their main goal: to safely get where they are going.
I request that the Yukon News and Wyatt publish an apology for the cartoon in question, and remove it from the website. It is too late to erase the offence caused, but there is still lots of time to contribute to improving relationships between the different users of Whitehorse roads.