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III. Sharing the road
Sharing the road with cyclists

Bicycles and mopeds travelling at a lower speed than other traffic are expected to ride about one metre from the curb or parked cars, or as close as practical to the right-hand edge of the road when there is no curb. However, they can use any part of the lane if necessary for safety, such as to:

  • Avoid obstacles such as puddles, ice, sand, debris, rutted or grooved pavement, potholes and sewer grates
  • Cross railway or streetcar tracks at a 90° angle
  • Discourage passing where the lane is too narrow to be shared safely

Cyclists are not required to ride close to the right edge of the road when they are travelling at or faster than the normal speed of traffic at that time and place, or when they are turning left, or getting in position to turn left. (Cyclists are permitted to make a left turn from a left-turn lane, where one is available.)

a cyclist and a vehicle stopped at an intersection; cyclist is using entire lane
Diagram 3-1

When passing a cyclist, as a best practice, allow at least one metre between your vehicle and the cyclist. Whenever possible, you should change lanes to pass.

Do not follow too closely behind cyclists. They do not have brake lights to warn you when they are slowing or stopping. Intersections – To avoid collisions with bicyclists at intersections, remember the following:

  • When turning right, signal and check your mirrors and the blind spot to your right to make sure you do not cut off a cyclist.
  • When turning left, you must stop and wait for oncoming bicycles to pass before turning.
  • When driving through an intersection, be careful to scan for cyclists waiting to turn left.

Do not sound your horn unnecessarily when you are overtaking a cyclist. It may frighten them and cause them to lose control. If you feel that you must use your horn, tap it quickly and lightly while you are still some distance away from the cyclist.

Bike lanes are reserved for cyclists. They are typically marked by a solid white line. Sometimes you will need to enter or cross a bike lane to turn right at a corner or driveway. Take extra care when you do this. Enter the bike lane only after ensuring that you can do so safely, and then make the turn.

Watch for cyclists’ hand signals. A cyclist may indicate a right-hand turn by extending their right arm.

Try to make eye contact when possible with cyclists.

Bike boxes help prevent collisions between motorists and bicycles at intersections. It is typically a painted box on the road with a white bicycle symbol inside. Bicycle lanes approaching and leaving the box may also be painted. As a driver, you must stop for a traffic signal behind the bike box. Do not stop in the box.

Children riding bicycles on the street may lack the necessary training and skills for safe cycling. They may not be aware of all the dangers or the rules of the road. Watch for children on oversized bicycles as they may not have the ability to control it.

When parked on the side of the roadway, look behind you and check your mirrors and blind spots for a passing cyclist before opening a door.

a cyclist proceeding through intersection when light turns green and vehicle turning right
Diagram 3-2