If you’ve ever been cycling in Toronto, and had a car scream past you a hairsbreadth away, you’ve probably thought to yourself, “what do I have to wear to make them see me?”
A fluorescent vest? A giant hat? A full police uniform?
Well, the latter didn’t help Toronto police Const. Marc Hayford on Monday, when he ended up getting side-swiped by an SUV while on his police bicycle. Now he wants Torontonians to know the importance of reporting these collisions — and he’s offering to help personally if anyone feels lost.
After he tweeted about his experience, other frustrated Toronto cyclists began to respond. Hayford told people to message him directly if they needed help with the process of reporting.
Today I was riding my police bicycle in full uniform and I was hit by a driver trying to make a right hand turn. The passenger side mirror hit me and he continued to change lanes into me. Please be alert of cyclists out there. The driver was charged with careless driving.
— Marc Hayford (@TPSHayford) 31 July 2018
“It’s been a frustration in the city for a long time,” said Hayford, who has spent a fair chunk of his 18 years as an officer on the saddle of a bicycle. “Cyclists and drivers are at odds with each other, right? Everyone thinks they’re right and the others’ wrong … and both sides need to take responsibility (for how they conduct themselves on the road).”
Hayford was jabbed in the left side with a car mirror when a vehicle attempted a right turn at an intersection and almost pushed him over; he had to bang on the SUV to get the driver to stop. It was his first time getting hit by a car while on his bicycle, and although he’s relatively unhurt, he knows how serious it could have been.