Cyclist’s speed a ‘primary contributor’ in Kamloops crash: RCMP

RCMP say an accident that left a Kamloops, BC, man in critical care at Vancouver General Hospital was not the fault of the vehicle driver involved in the crash.

Last month, cyclist Andrew van der Westhuizen collided with a commercial truck that was crossing a multi-use path in the Juniper neighborhood of the interior BC city.

“The speed of the cyclist appears to be the primary contributor to the collision,” RCMP Cpl. Crystal Evelyn said Tuesday, after the municipal traffic unit concluded its investigation.

“Our thoughts go out to all those involved in this unfortunate situation.”

Cycling safety concerns remain

The posted speed limit along the pathway is 20 km/h, but one cycling advocate said that speed isn’t realistic for most cyclists.

“I seriously question how that speed was determined considering the length and grade of the multi-use path and that it is separated from the rest of the traffic,” said Cheryl Fraser, advocate and founder of the Kamloops Cycling Coalition.

“At 20 km/h, [you] would have to be pushing pretty hard and [using] brakes [the] all the way down.”

Signage indicates the multi-use path’s speed limit of 20 km/h. (Jennifer Norwell/CBC)

Fraser said the crash should be seen as a call to action.

“Some very serious conversations need to be happening at the local government level on prioritizing a culture that values ​​cyclists and shows that they’re very equal members on the road.”

The city of Kamloops is looking at reducing the number of crashes on area roads through its Vision Zero strategy. Details of the proposed plan will go before the city council this fall.

The family of van der Westhuizen told CBC they did not wish to comment on the RCMP’s investigative findings.

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