Same Roads, Same Rules, Same Rights
There are lots of great reasons to ride a bicycle: health, fitness, fun, environment,transportation. Norfolk County has great scenery, interesting destinations and an extensive roads system for travelling by bicycle. Same Roads. Same Rules. Same Rights.
Being a rural area, most of our roads are two-lane, which means bicyclists, walkers and drivers will often be sharing the road. We want everyone to have a safe and enjoyable experience on our roads. When all users follow the rules, with care and courtesy, it is easy to share
Bicycles are considered vehicles under the Ontario Highway Traffic Act, and have the same rights and responsibilities on public roadways as drivers. Bicyclists fare best when they act and are treated as drivers of vehicles. When you as a bicyclist fail to obey the rules of the road, you lose the support of drivers. Be a good ambassador for bicycling!
Follow Rules of the Road
Obey all traffic laws, signs and signals
Ride on the Right
- Always ride in the same direction as traffic, far enough from the road edge to keep a straight line.
- Ride single file, except when passing.
- You may occupy any part of a lane when your safety warrants it e.g. to avoid obstacles, or if the lane isn’t wide enough to safely pass.
- Ride in a straight line – don’t weave around obstacles.
- Stay about one metre from the edge/curb or parked cars to avoid hazards.
- Use hand signals to communicate turns and stops to other road users.
- Wear brightly coloured clothing, including reflectors.
- Use lights in low light conditions (red rear, white front).
- Stay out of drivers’ blind spots – especially truck drivers.
- Make eye contact with drivers – it’s the best way to know they see you.
- When riding in groups, leave gaps to allow space for drivers or other bicyclists to pass.
- Acknowledge drivers with a wave when they’ve passed you safely.
- Yield to pedestrians. Warn others with a ring of your bell or friendly greeting before passing.
Take Care of Your Gear and Yourself
- Your bike is a machine and works best and safest when it is well-maintained.
- Wear a helmet and make sure it fits correctly.
For more detailed information see “Cycling Skills – Ontario’s Guide to Safe Cycling”, Ministry of Transportation.
Bicyclists and walkers are at greater risk on the road than zone. A small mistake by a driver can result in serious injury or death to a cyclist or walker. Drivers must respect the rights of other road users.
Pass with Care
- Treat a bicyclist as you would any slow moving vehicle. Pass only when the road ahead is clear.
- Slow down when passing, especially if the road is narrow.
- Give at least one meter of space between you and a bicyclist when passing.
- Check over your shoulder before moving back into your travel lane to make sure you have left enough space.
Yield to Bicyclists
- When turning left, yield to oncoming bicyclists. Experienced bicyclists can travel 30 to 40 km/hr and can be moving faster than you think.
- Do not make a right hand turn in front of bicyclists. Assume they are travelling through unless they signal otherwise.
Watch for Bicyclists
- Expect to see bicyclists on meter from the road edge, but can occupy any part of a lane if safety warrants e.g. to avoid obstacles, to turn left, or if the lane isn’t wide enough for a driver to safely pass.
- Check for bicyclists before opening your car door.
- Children on bicycles are often unpredictable.
- Expect the unexpected and drive with caution.
Don’t honk your horn – it can startle bicyclists and cause them to swerve into traffic.
- Walk facing traffic or use sidewalks where available.
- Wear bright clothing and reflectors.
- Make eye contact with drivers.
- Look all ways before crossing.
Together, we can keep our roads safe for everyone. We ALL have a responsibility to SHARE the ROAD!
For more information, visit www.norfolkpathways.ca and/or www.hnhu.org/sharetheroad
Adapted with permission by the County of Haliburton.