Two cyclists hit in separate accidents in Saanich on Monday

There are a few lessons to be gleaned from the series of events that resulted in two cyclists being hit and injured — and two drivers being charged — in Saanich on Monday afternoon.

The most important for drivers, Saanich police spokesman Sgt. Steve Eassie said, is that it’s your responsibility to watch out for pedestrians and cyclists, “whether you’re being waved on by other drivers, or whatever.”

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For cyclists, the lesson is that helmets can save lives and reduce injuries. That was the case for both cyclists on Monday, Eassie said.

It all started about 3:40 p.m. when a driver turned left into the path of a cyclist at Haliburton Drive and the Pat Bay Highway.

The 15-year-old cyclist hit the windshield of the truck and landed on the pavement. He had some bruising and lacerations but was not seriously hurt — thanks to wearing a helmet. His bike was significantly damaged.

“The driver just didn’t see him,” Eassie said.

The 23-year-old driver’s licence did not allow him to drive alone. He had a learner’s permit, which prevented him from driving a vehicle unauthorized. He was driving his parents’ truck.

Eassie said he was issued a $167 fine for failing to yield at a left turn and a $109 fine for driving without a proper permit.

The crash resulted in a traffic snarl along Elk Lake Drive and, within 20 minutes, another accident. A driver attempting to turn left into Saanich Commonwealth Place recreation centre struck a cyclist in the oncoming lane. The driver did not see the cyclist and thought it was safe to turn, as another vehicle had stopped to let the driver through.

The cyclist, who was wearing a helmet, received minor injuries and the driver was fined $167 for failure to yield at a left turn.

spetrescu@timescolonist.com

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