Over four days, September 21-24 2023, in his capacity as Ontario’s Critic for Active Transportation, MPP Joel Harden (Ottawa Centre) rode his bike from Ottawa to the Ontario Legislature. Along the way he hosted community conversations about safety for vulnerable road users (pedestrians, wheelchair users, cyclists and others).
We called this the #SafetyRide for people and planet.
Our #SafetyRide stoped in rural, suburban, and urban areas. We heard stories that we hope inspire change.
Our #SafetyRide was about promoting active transportation, seeing the beauty of Ontario by bicycle, and protecting vulnerable road users. Vulnerable road users include cyclists, pedestrians, road workers and people who use mobility devices like walkers or wheelchairs.
The ride wasn't just a challenge, it was a fun way to think about how to make our communities safer and more sustainable. The Ontario Legislature has debated the Protecting Vulnerable Road Users Act five times in the last ten years but it has yet to be passed into law. We are hoping our #SafetyRide can inspire this to happen in Ontario's 43rd Parliament. Our PMB is Bill 40 the Moving Ontarians Safely Act. It includes the following measures for those found guilty of road offenses: community service; license suspension; driver re-education; and also requires a culpable motorist to attend court for sentencing and to hear victim impact statements.
We also made history: this is the first time an Ontario MPP biked to Toronto from a significant distance, with the explicit objective of wanting to listen to those with serious concerns about road safety, active transportation, and environmental change.