VERNON - Safety is in the spotlight after a North Okanagan mother and daughter were thrown from their bikes in a hit and run.
The Greater Vernon Cycling Advisory Committee is putting on a walk and ride event this Thursday to raise awareness after local athletes Mae Hooper and her daughter Hannah Mehain were hit by a car while training on Buchanan Road in Coldstream May 6. According to a family member, Hooper suffered a concussion and back injures, while Mehain, a Seaton Secondary student who recently got back from the World Junior Women’s Nordi Ski Championships in Romania, sustained more minor injures.
Ward Strong, with the cycling committee, says the Mae Hooper Road Safety Awareness Walk/Ride will happen at 7 p.m. May 19, starting at the North Okanagan Regional District board office at the corner of Highway 6 and Aberdeen Road.
With cycling and walking serving as important modes of green transportation and a popular form of exercise in the North Okanagan, Ward says it’s important residents feel safe to use roads by foot and by bike.
“This walk and ride will promote safety awareness among people who cycle, walk, and drive vehicles on our public roads, hopefully reducing the chances of another dangerous incident like Mae and her daughter sustained,” Ward says in a media release.
The route will cross Highway 6, turn right at Buchanan Road and continue to Grey Road. Participants will return by the same route. The round trip distance is 4.8 kilometres and takes about 25 minutes by bike and 1 hour and 15 minutes walking.
Participants are advised to wear bright clothes and helmets if cycling, and to go single file in the direction of vehicle traffic if cycling, and opposite to vehicle traffic if walking.
The North Okanagan Coalition for Active Transport has also spoken out about road safety in light of the hit and run. In a media release, the coalition expressed its concern for the two riders and its relief the incident was not a fatal one.
“(Our) members are involved in the organization for what we believe are the same reasons that the mother and daughter were riding on that day; that the freedom to ride bicycles safely benefits the North Okanagan, in health and enjoyment, and in a sense of responsibility and commitment to our communities. This incident brings into sharp focus the importance of this continued work, and the development of constructive partnerships that together will decrease the future likelihood of these kinds of incidents.”
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