The summer months are fast approaching and with more cyclists and drivers expected to re-emerge on the roads, CAA South Central Ontario (SCO) is encouraging motorists to keep the safety of cyclists in mind when sharing the road.
“Cycling is an excellent way to stay active during the pandemic and many more are picking up the activity, but as the province works towards reopening, we need to stay vigilant for everyone’s safety,” says Teresa Di Felice, AVP of government and community relations at CAA SCO.
All drivers and cyclists are advised to follow public health guidelines, be predictable, be patient, communicate their intentions with signals, regularly check blind spots, and turn on their lights during dawn, dark and dusk.
“In Ontario, there are tough penalties for those who do not follow the rules of the road, yet many remain unaware of what these rules are. Whether you’re on two wheels or four, get to know the following rules and best practices,”adds Di Felice.
CAA is also reminding all motorists of these important rules of the road:
- Be aware. Do not use headphones or mobile devices while driving and pay attention.
- Yield to cyclists. Motorists should not be driving in a bike lane unless making a right turn. Watch for the approaching cyclists and never speed up and cut off a cyclist when making a right turn
- Keep a safe distance. Drivers must keep at least a one metre distance from other cyclists. If it is not possible, safely change lanes to pass. The penalty for not doing so is a $110 fine.
- Practice the Dutch Reach. Avoid “dooring” cyclists by doing the Dutch Reach. CAA launched a new Dutch Reach video for users to practice as more people out on their bikes.
Some cycling-specific safety tips:
- Ride with traffic. Riding against traffic flow is dangerous, illegal and a leading cause of car-bike collisions.
- Protect yourself. Drivers, use your seat belts. Cyclists, wear your helmets.
- Be visible. Use reflectors and lights in dark and overcast conditions. It’s the law.
- Be predictable. Obey traffic signs and be clear with your intentions with other drivers. Under Ontario’s Highway Traffice Act (HTA), a bicycle is considered a vehicle, just like car or truck and must follow the same rules of the road.
- Ride close to home. As cyclists start to use their bikes for the first time in awhile, remember to stay close to home as you are starting out.
Put your cycling safety knowledge to the test with CAA’s new cycling safety quiz. For all other cycling information, visit caasco.com/cycling.
If you run into a problem that cannot be fixed on the spot, CAA Bike Assist will transport you and your bicycle to wherever* you need to go. It’s available as part of your membership 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.