Toronto: Safety Tips for Vehicles Coming Into Contact with Cyclists

Update:

SIgnage for Toronto bike lane on Richmond St. East, east of George Street.
SIgnage for Toronto bike lane on Richmond St. East, east of George Street. photo by fightyourtickets.ca

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Cyclist on Avenue Road north of Bloor St W. photo by fightyourtickets.ca
Cyclist riding on Avenue Rd., north of Bloor St in Toronto. photo by fightyourtickets.ca

Drivers and cyclists will soon share more roadways in the city.

On Monday, the city released a report that proposed a 10-year plan to create a network of new bike lanes in Toronto. The report, which will be discussed at the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee meeting next week, suggests the addition of 525 kilometres of new bike lanes and other routes that would span across the GTA.

Last week, council voted in favour to install temporary bike lanes on a 2.4 kilometre portion of Bloor Street as part of a pilot project. The project hopes to determine the impact of bike lanes in the area for motorists, businesses and cyclists.

Bike lane on Sherbourne Ave south of Bloor.
Cyclist in bike lane, south of Bloor St on Sherbourne St. in Toronto. photo by fightyourtickets.ca

Toronto Police Constable Hugh Smith said that motorists sharing the roads with cyclists should review the bylaws and safety precautions that go along with driving beside bike lanes.

Here are five refreshers on sharing the road with cyclists:

5. Yield to cyclists when turning right.

If you’re attempting to turn right and there’s a bike lane running in that direction, you are permitted to drive on the painted lane lines as long as you yield to oncoming cyclists, and only as you approach the intersection you wish to turn at.

That being said…

4. Drive in bike lanes only when turning and yielding to cyclists.

This is only permitted as you come within 45m of the corner you wish to turn at.

3. By law you need to keep a full metre between the car and the cyclist when possible.

“That’s from the edge of the handlebar to the edge of your side mirror,” Const. Hugh Smith said.

Drivers should give cyclists space and avoid blocking their path on the bike lane as much as possible.

2. Do not stop, stand or park in a bike lane.

Not only is it dangerous for cyclists, who are then forced to weave within traffic to bypass the vehicle, it could cost you.

“It’s a $150 fine (for drivers) and it’s clearly posted in yellow along cycle tracks in the city,’ Hugh said.

1. Be aware.

The number one rule for drivers to keep in mind comes from the perspective of cyclists themselves.

“Be courteous, be aware of your surroundings,” one local cyclist told CTV Toronto.

“I think if we’re just aware of what’s going on, work together, give and take — it all works out,” said another.

Hugh urges drivers to communicate and be conscious of everything around your vehicle.

“There’s room on the roads for everyone.”

Cyclist riding in bike lane on Richmond Street, east of George St.
Cyclist riding in bike lane on Richmond Street, east of George St. photo by fightyourtickets.ca

 

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