Expect to see more people on bikes and put safety first

The Ottawa Police Service is reminding motorists and cyclists to remain safe and alert when it comes to sharing the road. As we finally come into warmer weather, more and more people are drawn to cycling, whether for commuting or for leisure.

While motorists might not be used to seeing cyclists on the road, they should always keep an eye out for them. The rules of the road do apply to cyclists as well, however motorists are encouraged to continue exercising more care around vulnerable road users.

Motorists:

  • Cyclists have the right to occupy a lane, so be prepared to share the road 
  • Give cyclists one meter when you are passing 
  • Know the hand signals used by cyclists
  • Review the rules around bike lanes
  • Be situationally aware of less visible road users, which includes double-checking for cyclists, pedestrians and motorcycles when you are turning or changing lanes

Other road users:

  • If you are cycling, follow the rules of the road – don’t surprise motorists with unexpected manœuvres 
  • Use hand signals to let other road users know what you are doing
  • Follow all laws with respect to roadways, sidewalks and pathways
  • Ensure your bicycle is equipped with a bell and lights
  • Be situationally aware of what is going on around you
(Cyclists and motorists alike should ensure they are familiar with hand signals used by cyclists. Photo: Ontario’s Guide to Safe Cycling)

In 2019, there were four fatalities and 290 injuries to cyclists involved in collisions on Ottawa roads.

Remember that safety is a responsibility shared by everyone, but the risk of injury is higher for cyclists involved in collisions with motor vehicles. As you commute, think about other road users and follow the tips above for a safe commute. Cyclists can also keep their bike safe by registering it for free on 529 Garage.


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