This blog discusses 3 rules for safely sharing the road with pedestrians and cyclists.With summer just around the corner, the roads are home to an increasing number of pedestrians and cyclists, creating a new dynamic that drivers of all types must get used to. Sharing the road is first and foremost about all road users – regardless of means of transport – relying on their common sense. Drivers, however, must comply with a certain number of rules, notably:
1. Pedestrians have priority.If several road users arrive at an intersection at the same time, the most “vulnerable” should be granted the right-of-way. As a general rule, a pedestrian is more vulnerable than a cyclist, and a cyclist, more at risk than someone at the wheel of a car. As stated on the SAAQ Web site, “Drivers of road vehicles have a duty to show extra care toward more vulnerable users, such as people with reduced mobility, pedestrians and cyclists”.
2. Passing needs to be done cautiously.Keep an appropriate distance between yourself and any pedestrians or cyclists you are passing. On roads where the speed limit is 50 km/h or less, this distance should be at least one metre, and at least one and a half metres on roads with a speed limit of over 50 km/h. This may occasionally require you to drive on the other side of the dotted line; you must take all of the care required. As of December 2018, this rule applies when passing either a cyclist or a pedestrian.
3. A little bit of courtesy can go a long way!Even a short moment of impatience can transform a harmless situation into something much more serious. Just remember: waiting a few seconds for a pedestrian to cross the road or to have the opportunity of safely passing a cyclist will not make you arrive late! Besides, being courteous is not only desirable but also expected! A number of not-so courteous behaviours can lead to a fine.
To ensure that sharing the road is done in an efficient and safe manner, pedestrians and cyclists must also abide by certain rules. This, of course, is not a reason for casting the blame on others! As a driver, YOU are the person primarily responsible for promoting the safety of road users in your immediate vicinity.
Have a look at the RPM+ video clip on the topic of priorities. (In french only)
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