Ellen Watters will always be known as an amazing, vibrant, joyful soul, an athlete, and a cycling star.

Ellen went for a training ride in Sussex, NB, on December 23, 2016, and was struck from behind by a vehicle, tragically ending her life. A born-and-raised New Brunswicker, Ellen was part of the Cyclery-Opus team based in Ontario. She was 28 years old and rising higher and higher in the cycling ranks.

Ellen was an organ donor, and she and her family will be giving one of the best gifts anyone can receive — another chance. She was generous enough to give this gift to others.

New Brunswick has a large cycling community, and we have been hit hard by this loss. Cyclists and motorists need to respect each other on the roads so that everyone gets home safe.

Initial Lobbying

Since November 9, 2015, the New Brunswick cycling community has been lobbying the Government of New Brunswick to amend the Motor Vehicle Act to:

a) Add rules respecting bicycle lanes;

b) Require motorists to leave at least one metre of space between their vehicle and a bicycle it is passing;

c) Expand the description of a bicycle to include other similar human powered vehicles;

d) Add specific rules regarding bicycles on sidewalks;

e) Replace rules regarding cycling on the extreme right; and

f) Allow local authorities to designate sidewalks as trails and regulate the use of bicycles there on.

The .pdf documents below include the executive summary and the text of the proposed changes to the Motor Vehicle Act.

Motor Vehicle Act Proposed

Executive Summary


On New Year’s Day 2017, rallies were organized in Fredericton, Moncton and Saint John to demand safer road legislation and to honour the life of Ellen Watters.

Initial Meeting
On January 12, 2017, the Cycling Safety Advocacy Committee met with ministers and MLAs. The following document contains the proposed changes to the Motor Vehicle Act.

Royal Assent

Ellen’s Law came into effect June 1st 2017. Under this amendment to the Motor Vehicle Act, a driver of a motor vehicle shall not pass a bicycle travelling in the same direction unless there is sufficient space to do so safely and the driver leaves at least one metre of open space between the vehicle and the bicycle. Motorists may cross the centre line while passing bicycles when it is safe to do so. The Cycling Safety Advocacy Committee continues to lobby for further safety amendments to the New Brunswick Motor Vehicle Act.

Ellen’s Law Public Safety Submission

Media Coverage

Telegraph Journal:Obituary for Ellen Watters

Maclean’s: Ellen Leah Isabel Watters, 1988-2016
Canadian Cycling Magazine: Ellen Watters Memorial Fundraiser takes place Saturday Feb. 18

CTV Atlantic:Rules of the road: N.B. government to move ahead with new cycling safety law

Pedal Magazine:Ellen’s Law Moving Ahead in New Brunswick Legislature

Canadian Cycling Magazine: Ellen’s Law moving ahead in New Brunswick
Country 94:All Party Support For Ellen’s Law
CBC NB: Ellen’s law in Gallant government’s plans for new legislature session
CBC NB: Moncton council unanimously supports ‘Ellen’s Law’
CBC NB: Edmundston council endorses calls for ‘Ellen’s law’
CBC NB: Ellen’s Law Request Goes to Moncton Council
The Globe and Mail:Ellen Watters was a rising star in Canadian cycling
Canadian Cycling Magazine: Ellen’s Law receives unanimous endorsement from Saint John city council
Pedal Magazine: Remembering Ellen Watters
Global News: Saint John Common Council throws support behind ‘Ellen’s Law’
CBC NB: ‘Ellen’s law’ gets endorsement from Saint John city council
97.3 The Wave:SJ Mayor to Write Letter to Public Safety Minister Supporting Ellen’s Law
Bike Law Canada: New Brunswick Fighting for One-metre of Space
CBC NB: Ellen’s Law: support growing for 1-metre law following cyclist death
Canadian Cycling Magazine: Hundreds turn out for rallies in support of Ellen’s Law
Telegraph Journal: Cyclists put the pedal to the metal in honour of Ellen
CTV Atlantic: Family and friends of Ellen Watters raising awareness about cycling safety.
Global News: ‘Ellen’s Law’ rallies in New Brunswick draw hundreds in push for better cyclist safety
Pedal Magazine: Call for #EllensLaw Gains Momentum After Tragic Death
Canadian Cycling Magazine: Remembering Ellen Watters
CBC NB: Star New Brunswick cyclist Ellen Watters dies from crash injuries
CBC NB: Death of New Brunswick cyclist prompts push for ‘Ellen’s Law’
Radio Canada: Se tenir à 1,5 m des cyclistes : une loi à adopter au pays croit Louis Garneau
Global News: New Brunswick cyclist Ellen Watters’ death leads to push for ‘Ellen’s Law’
Canadian Press: Death of cyclist Ellen Watters prompts rally for road safety changes in New Brunswick
Bicycling.com: Bike Racer Ellen Watters Dies 5 Days After Being Hit by a Car
National Post: Up-and-coming pro cyclist Ellen Watters dies, four days after collision with car in New Brunswick
Telegraph Journal: Competitive Cyclist Ellen Watters Was ‘Vibrant, Energetic Soul.’
Country 94.1: Rallies Scheduled Calling For “Ellen’s Law”