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Opinion: Burnaby driver mows down cyclist, blames ICBC for not cutting him some slack

Driver says they didn't have to look both ways
cyclist hit
A cyclist in Burnaby right at the moment of impact.

People who write into newspapers have complaints about a lot of things, some justified while others not so much.

It’s my role to weed through these complaints to decide which ones warrant a story highlighting injustices inflicted upon everyday citizens by governments and their agencies.

Complaints flow in about everything from businesses who don’t give good service to patients furious at their treatment at hospitals to people upset about tax hikes.

Oh, and ICBC.

People love to complain about their battles with ICBC. I, of course, sympathize because ICBC can be cold and heartless in how they deal with claims. But others are often clueless about their own culpability in vehicular incidents.

One recent case involves a driver I’ll simply refer to as In Denial, who sent me a short video (I’m not including it because I don’t want to identify the person heard in the video) depicting them brutally mowing down a cyclist in Burnaby. But you can see a screenshot of the moment of impact above.

They sent me the video thinking that it clearly shows their innocence when it does anything but. They wanted me to take up their case to uncover the scourge that is ICBC, when that is hardly the case.

The incident happened in the spring outside of the COVID-19 vaccination clinic that was set up on Kensington Avenue at what is now the Christine Sinclair Community Centre.

What the video shows is the driver pulling up to a stop sign that is at the exit of the parking lot and faces east towards Kensington. The driver does stop but then pulls forward into the path of where pedestrians and cyclists pass by and then stops again, waiting for space to turn right onto Kensington. Suddenly, a cyclist appears and makes hard contact with the vehicle.

“ICBC blames me for not looking right and only focusing on the left,” writes In Denial.

Well, uh, yeah. You’re supposed to look both ways before driving into the path of pedestrians and cyclists. It’s called situational awareness and it’s a driver’s responsibility.

In Denial doesn’t see it that way.

In fact, this driver blames the cyclist for damaging their vehicle, saying the car's right-side corner of the bumper was scratched, at a cost of $1,500.

Again, the driver stopped right in the path of the walkway but blames the cyclist for running into them.

“I did not have to look (to the) right side as my car was blocking the whole walkway, and my whole focus was to the front and left,” they said, still not cluing into what their error was - they admit they blocked an entire walkway.

Jeebus – you have to look both ways, especially when you are crossing into a walkway, and see that nobody is coming in either direction, then you can proceed.

Good grief. For once, I’m on ICBC’s side.

Follow Chris Campbell on Twitter @shinebox44.