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The Globe and Mail

Feds, provinces to review ways to reduce cycling fatalities on city streets

A cyclist heading westbound on Toronto’s Bloor St. West manoeuvres between parked vehicles on the left and live traffic on the right on March 8, 2016.

Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail

The federal government is taking a fresh look at how to protect cyclists on Canada's roadways after recent high-profile cases where cyclists were killed on city streets.

Federal, provincial and territorial ministers in charge of transportation have agreed to set up a national task force on vulnerable road users, such as cyclists and pedestrians, to come up with ways to reduce injuries and fatalities.

The task force, established through the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators, will explore the use of cameras, sensor systems and side guards, as well as educational safety and awareness programs.

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The idea wasn't on the agenda when federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau met his counterparts Wednesday, but he raised the issue after Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson and Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre separately wrote to address a growing concern on their streets.

In Ottawa, Nusrat Jahan, 23, was killed earlier this month when a large truck struck her as it turned right on a busy downtown street during the morning commute.

In Montreal, two cyclists were killed within a few days of one another in late August.

In a statement, Garneau says the country needs to find out what works best – be it technology, equipment or more education – to improve safety on the roads.

There is no timeline for the review.

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