As the summer approaches, the number of cyclists will increase on our local roadways. The Sault Ste. Marie Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) is reminding cyclists that they must stay alert and follow the rules of the road.
Cyclists are required to share the road with other vehicles. Bicycles should always ride with traffic, stay as far right as possible and use hand signals to alert others to your intended actions.
Your bicycle should have a sounding device attached and if you are riding at night, you are required to have a working headlight and a tail light on your bike.
The most important piece of safety equipment you need is an approved and properly fitted helmet.
Studies have shown that wearing an approved helmet while cycling greatly reduces the risk of injury should a mishap occur. The law requires everyone under the age of 18 to wear a helmet but for safety reasons, the OPP recommends that all cyclists wear helmets at all times.
Motorists also have a role to play in cycling safety.
- Drivers must leave a minimum of one-metre distance when passing a cyclist. The penalty, if convicted under the Highway Traffic Act, is a fine of $110.00.
- Dooring – The penalty under the Highway Traffic Act for improper opening of a vehicle door (driver or passenger), is $365.00 if convicted.
- A motorist may, if done safely, and in compliance with the rules of the road, cross the centre line of a roadway in order to pass a cyclist. If this cannot be done safely, he or she must wait behind the cyclist until it is safe to pass.
“Cycling safety is the responsibility of everyone who uses our roadways – no matter what method of transportation you are using, do your part to keep our roads safe” – Acting Staff Sergeant Manuela Byrnes.
Sault Ste. Marie OPP officers will continue with proactive patrols and enforcement to ensure all road users stay alert and stay safe at all times.