To ensure trouble-free road travels, CAA-Quebec and Vélo Québec are speaking out as one to remind the public of the basic rules to follow to ensure that cyclists and motorists can co-exist in the safest and friendliest possible manner.
Quebec is home to some 3.5 million cyclists and a little over 5 million motorists. With so many people on the road, we have to agree to share it… and adjust our behaviours according to our means of transport.
|The Highway Safety Code applies to everyone. Cyclists as well as motorists must comply with it. It’s simply common sense!|
|Obey all signs. To coin a phrase: the road is telling you something, so listen! Obey traffic lights and stop signs.|
|Expect cyclists to be there. You’re not the only one on the road! Cyclists have the legal right to ride anywhere, except on highways and on-ramps. Keep your eyes open: you’re just as likely to cross their paths in the city as in the country.|
|Be visible at all times. The Highway Safety Code requires that, in addition to reflectors, your bike be equipped with a working white headlight and red taillight if you are riding at night.|
|Look before you open your door. Just because you’re parked doesn’t mean the danger is passed! The law requires you to check behind and ahead of you to make sure the way is clear before opening your door. This is among the most frequent causes of accidents involving cyclists and motorists.|
|Be careful at intersections. Drivers: stop without encroaching on bike lanes or pedestrian crosswalks. Also, make sure to leave enough room on your right for bike riders. Cyclists: stop just ahead of automobiles, but short of crosswalks. Make eye contact with the driver beside you, who will yield to you if s/he sees you.|
|Take care when making a right turn. A cyclist proceeding straight ahead has the right of way over vehicles turning right|
|Signal your intentions. There’s no one reading your mind! About to make a turn? Cyclists: use arm signals. Drivers: use your turn signals.|
|Slow down, and keep your distance. About to overtake a cyclist? Maintain a reasonable distance of at least 1 metre in the city, and 1.5 m in rural areas. Under the Highway Safety Code, you are allowed to cross a solid line to pass a cyclist, as long as you can do so safely.|
|Ride with traffic, not against it. Ride in the same direction as automobiles on two-way streets.|
|Invest in a rear-view mirror. It will tell you whether a vehicle or cyclist is approaching from behind. You don’t have eyes in the back of your head—but a mirror is the next best thing!|
Remember that courtesy is the key to harmonious co-existence between drivers and cyclists on the road. And it makes life that much more pleasant!
To find out more, see the information on bicycle safety on the Vélo Québec website.
You can also read the CAA-Quebec feature titled Cyclists are back on the road.