On any given day in Grey County, you can pass cyclists, horse drawn vehicles, farm equipment, off-road vehicles and pedestrians travelling along our mostly two-lane roads.
With so many different users, it’s essential 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. Motorists have an responsibility to respect other users, and non-motorist users must also understand and follow the rules of the road.
Grey County has recently launched a "Share the Road" campaign. This campaign draws attention to the importance of safe driving practices, particularly when sharing the road with other types of vehicles, including tractors, farm implements, horse-drawn buggies, and cyclists.
The inspiration for this campaign came from the Grey County Agricultural Advisory Committee, who have a growing concerns about unsafe driving behaviors on our roads. Unsafe driving has the potential to result in tragic accidents and puts all road users at risk.
Farm vehicles travel at only 40km/hr and need to stay on the main part of the road for safety. Pass with caution, as large agricultural equipment could make left-hand turns or be going around cyclists, mailboxes, signs, or guardrails. Make sure the farm vehicle driver can see you before you pass and remember, oncoming traffic has the right of way. Don’t expect a farm vehicle to pull over on the shoulder, as this could be dangerous for them. Slow down and share the road. Farm vehicles are required to use lights at night and in inclement weather.
Under the Ontario Highway Traffic Act, cyclists, motorists, and pedestrians have equal rights and access to our roadways. All users must share the road and respect each other. Drivers must leave a minimum of one metre distance when passing a cyclist and not follow too closely behind cyclists. When turning, please check your mirrors and blind spots for cyclists and pedestrians.
Slow-moving horse-drawn vehicles are common in our area, moving at an average speed of 14 km/h. When passing from behind or the opposite direction, slow down and create as much distance as possible, and remember, oncoming traffic has the right of way. Don't use your horn or pass too closely, as this could startle the horse and create a dangerous situation for all.
• Motorists may encounter off road vehicles on the roads. These vehicles are limited to 20 km/hr in zones posted at 50 km/hr or less, and 50 km/hr in zones posted at greater than 50 km/hr. For on-road usage, off road vehicle riders must wear approved helmets; be registered, plated, and insured; and be at least 16 years old with a Class G2 licence. It is the rider’s responsibility to check with local municipalities to determine if usage is permitted. At all times, obey the laws, respect others property, and ride safely and responsibly.
• Protect emergency services personnel on the roads. Slow down and proceed with caution when you encounter a first responder stopped with emergency lighting activated. This includes tow-trucks. Obey the law - move over and stay safe. Offenders could be fined and assessed demerit points.
• When you see a construction zone, take it slow. Reduce your speed, pay attention, obey signs, watch for workers, and be prepared to stop and follow directions given by traffic control persons. Drive with extra caution through construction areas during periods of rain and at night. If a detour route is posted, follow the directional signs to avoid the road construction zone. Use municipal 511 to plan your route to avoid construction zones and delays. Road maintenance crews are your family, neighbours, and friends. They make our roads safe. Pay attention and slow down. Fines are doubled for speeding in construction zones and are strictly enforced when workers are present.
• Be extra vigilant when sharing the road with motorcyclists. Motorcycles are not as visible as other vehicles, so be sure to make frequent blind spot checks and be mindful when changing lanes, turning, and merging into traffic. Motorcyclists can enhance their safety by wearing highly visible clothing, properly positioning their motorcycle on roadways, reducing low light and night riding, not taking chances or making risky maneuvers, and riding at the appropriate speed and never in excess of the posted limit.
• When parking on roadways, always watch for and obey all posted signage. Be aware that not all parking by-laws are posted. Never park on the travelled part of a road – if you must stop, pull over onto the shoulder. Never park on a curve, hill, or anywhere you do not have a clear view for at least 125 metres in both directions. Do not park near intersections, railway crossings, pedestrian crossings, or road entrances.