June 3 2021
HAMILTON, ON – As part of Bike Month, the City of Hamilton and Hamilton Police Services are sharing cycling safety tips for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians. As part of the joint Vision Zero Action Plan, this education campaign is focused on transforming roadway safety with a simple goal: zero fatalities or serious injuries on roadways.
- Reduce speed when encountering cyclists.
- Leave sufficient space between your vehicle and a cyclist, and only pass a cyclist when there is enough room to do so safely. The penalty for not leaving a minimum one-metre passing distance can result in a fine of $110.
- After parking on the side of the road, check your blind spots and look for cyclists before opening your door. The penalties for improper opening of a vehicle door can result in a fine of over $300 and three demerit points.
- Always signal when making lane changes or turning so that cyclists can anticipate your actions.
- Look both ways before crossing a bike lane and yield to any oncoming bikes. Even if cyclists see you, their reaction time may be slowed due to weather conditions or other factors.
- Children may not be fully aware of all the rules and dangers of the road, so drive with extra caution around children cycling.
- Never park in bike lanes.
- The Ontario Highway Traffic Act defines bicycles as vehicles so cyclists have a responsibility to obey all traffic laws, signs and signals. Riding a bike on a sidewalk is illegal in Hamilton.
- Use a bell, a front light, and a rear reflector on your bicycle. When riding on multi-use trails, make sure to alert pedestrians with your bell well in advance of passing them so they know you are approaching.
- Wear bright-coloured clothing that allows you to be seen by drivers both day and night. Reflective clothing is ideal.
- Be alert of your surroundings and ride predictably.
- Know your skill and fitness level when planning routes and plan ahead. The City of Hamilton offers a comprehensive map of cycling facilities, points of interest and hiking trails.
- Everyone should wear a helmet and people under age 18 are required to wear a helmet.
- Avoid distractions while walking like texting or talking on the phone.
- Avoid wearing headsets in order to hear if a bicycle is approaching.
- Travel predictably by keeping to the right on trails and crossing streets using marked crosswalks.
- Keep pets close and on a leash.
- Do not use bike lanes for travel and yield to cyclists if crossing one when they have the right-of-way.
Residents can find more safety tips by visiting: www.hamilton.ca/cyclingsafety
To learn more about Bike Month or to register to participate, visit: www.hamilton.ca/bikemonth
“Be it walking, cycling, or driving a motor vehicle, we wish to ensure that Hamiltonians arrive at their destination safely, with a mutual respect for one another. In Hamilton, we have a shared vision of zero fatalities or serious injuries on our roadways. This can only be done when all roads users know and follow the rules, while taking precautions to respect other users.”- Marty Schulenberg, Superintendent, Hamilton Police Services