Mom of cyclist killed in collision speaks out to urge for safer roads
APOHAQUI, N.B. -- The mother of a competitive cyclist who was struck and killed on a New Brunswick highway is speaking out tonight about plans to make the roads safer.
Cyclists have been lobbying the government to adopt new measures to improve safety, but they recently ran into a roadblock.
It's been just over three years since Nancy Grieve-Watters lost her daughter Ellen, a competitive cyclist, in a tragic accident near her home in Sussex.
"I still really miss her,"Grieve-Watters said.
The 28-year-old's death inspired what's now known as "Ellen's Law" -- a rule requiring motorists to give a one-metre clearance between themselves and any cyclists on the road.
However, cyclists wanted more changes to make the streets safer and formed a working group whose recommendations were recently shut down by the province.
"I don't understand why cyclists have to go out and stage rallies to get any kind of legislation passed," said Wayne Arrowsmith, the advocacy director for Velo NB.
Ellen's mother says it was a decision her late daughter would be disappointed by.
"It seems to me there doesn't need to be another tragedy before they bring those papers to the top of the pile and start really accepting their responsibility as a government to make roads safer for everybody," Grieve-Watters said. "She would be really upset. She said to me in the kitchen 'if my passing meant that the laws, that there would be safer cycling, I would be good with that. And I remember saying 'Ellen …', but she said 'no, I mean it.'"
Less than 24 hours after a news release from the Saint John Cycling Group detailing their displeasure with the government's decision, a spokesperson with the department of public safety contacted them saying they planned on resuming discussions regarding the recommendations.
"It kind of disappoints me that they would need that public influx to make them realize their responsibility," Grieve-Watters said.
Arrowsmith wonders if anything will happen.
"I've been to Fredericton so many times, meeting with the civil servants, that I don't get my hopes up too much, but it's movement and that's a positive."
A meeting has been set for Jan. 28 with the province.