On any given day in Grey County, you can pass cyclists, horseback riders, pedestrians and farmers travelling along our mostly two-lane roads. With so many varied users, it’s imperative that motorists and other users drive with care, respect each other’s space and work together to share the road.
Sharing the road is a two-way process. When you fail to obey the rules of the road, you lose the support of motorists and the community at large. Not only do motorists have an obligation to respect cyclists and other users, but non-motorist users must also understand and follow the rules of the road.
Share the Road: Rules for Cyclists
This road-sharing idea is most commonly associated with cyclists. Unlike cars, bikes have no crumple zone, leaving cyclist very vulnerable when accidents happen. Below are a list of ways cyclists can improve safety on area roads and a list of ways motorists can improve safety for cyclists.
Ways bicyclists can improve safety:
- Follow the law — it’s the safest way to ride. Bicyclists have the same rights and duties as other drivers and need to follow the same traffic laws.
- Be predictable — ride in a straight line, signal turns and check behind you before turning or changing lanes.
- Come to a complete stop at every stop sign and red light.
- Ride with caution around parked cars and position yourself in the field of vision of a motorist pulling out of a parking space.
- Be conspicuous — ride where drivers can see you, use lights at night and wear bright clothing.
- Be aware — anticipate the next move of drivers, pedestrians and other cyclists. Watch for debris, potholes and grates.
- If you are a beginner or are returning to bicycling, seek out clubs or bicycling advocacy organizations in your community for tips on safe riding, instruction, and group rides to improve knowledge and confidence.
- Ride Ready — tires need air, brakes must work, chains should run smoothly, and quick release wheel levers must be closed.
- Carry identification and cell phone, emergency cash, as well as repair and emergency supplies.
- Wear a helmet.
Ways motorists can improve bicycle safety:
- Respect bicyclists as legal road users with the same rights and responsibilities as motorists. Drive courteously and with tolerance. That cyclist is your neighbor and you are sharing the same road.
- Obey the posted speed limit, and don't drive too fast for conditions.
- Come to a complete stop at each stop sign and red light.
- Check over your shoulder, and always check your blind spot. A bicyclist could be there.
- Maintain a safe distance between your vehicle and the bicycle in front of you.
- Use low-beam headlights when driving in low-visibility conditions.
- Yield to pedestrians and bicyclists in and entering crosswalks.
- If you plan to turn right or pull into a parking space shortly ahead of a bicycle in front of you, do not pass.
- Signal all turns and lane changes 30 meters (100 feet) in advance.
- Pass bicyclists only it is safe to do so. Exercise patience.
To learn more, visit www.sharetheroad.ca. To learn more about local rural initiatives, visit www.thebluemountains.ca/share-the-road.cfm or watch this informative video about sharing the road in the Town of the Blue Mountains.