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City sharing safety tips for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians as part of Bike Month

HAMILTON, ON – As part of the City’s Vision Zero Action Plan and to commemorate Bike Month, the City of Hamilton is sharing a familiar education campaign focused on providing motorists, cyclists and pedestrians with some useful safety tips relating to sharing the road safely.

Motorists

  • 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.

Cyclists

  • 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 that can be found here.
  • Everyone should wear a helmet and people under age 18 are required to wear a helmet.

Pedestrians

  • 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

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