At Vélo Québec, safety is our main concern. We work on all fronts to ensure that cyclists can travel worry-free by advocating for better cycling infrastructures, a bicycle-friendly Highway Safety Code and a more harmonious coexistence with heavy vehicles. However, we feel that cyclists, by showing good conduct, are also part of the solution – since our safety on the road is directly linked to that of others.


To ride safely and share the road better

Be visible at night

Not only are reflectors and lights mandatory, they’re indispensable. We can’t expect others to pay attention to us if we aren’t visible!

Make sure you have the right reflectors and lights at all times:

  • A white reflector in front and a red reflector in back;
  • A yellow or white reflector on the front wheel (reflective strips on the fork, the rim or the tire are also acceptable);
  • A red or white reflector on the back wheel (reflective strips on the seat stays, the rim or the tire are also acceptable);
  • Yellow reflectors on the pedals (reflective strips on your shoes or around your ankle are also acceptable);
  • A white light in front and a red light in back for when it’s dark.

Avoid blind spots

Those who drive heavy vehicles have to deal with very large blind spots, so it’s critical that you remain visible at all times. If you can’t see the driver in his rearview mirror or through the window, chances are he can’t see you either. Be careful and make sure to:

  • Never position yourself between a truck and the sidewalk;
  • Never pass a truck unless it has stopped and its hazard lights are on;
  • Establish eye contact with the driver;
  • Stay behind a truck when it has stopped.

Respect red lights

In order to avoid collisions, all road users must respect traffic lights at all times. A red light is red for everyone!

As of April 18, 2019, at a red light and an activated pedestrian light, you will be allowed to continue your route only after stopping and giving priority to pedestrians. If there are bicycle traffic signals at an intersection, they have priority.

Yield to buses

With dozens of passengers on board, it only makes sense to yield to buses when you’re on the road. And since buses have to deal with very large blind spots, it’s very important that you respect certain safety rules. For example:

  • Never position yourself between a bus and the sidewalk;
  • Establish eye contract with the driver;
  • Make sure you’re visible to the driver.

Make eye contact at intersections

Make sure you’re seen by other people on the road – cyclists, pedestrians, drivers, etc. – by establishing eye contact with them.

At a red light, stay in front of cars that are waiting for the light to turn green, without encroaching on the pedestrian crossing. This way, you’ll be easily visible to idling motorists. Be even more vigilant at intersections where right turns at red lights are permitted.

A little courtesy and consideration go a long way toward avoiding altercations!

Adapt your speed to your environment

Adapting your speed allows you to interact with other road users and react quickly to the unexpected, thereby maximizing the safety of everyone.

Particularly in an urban setting, where there is greater interaction between various road users, going too fast may make you vulnerable.

Always pass on the left  

When passing another cyclist – or a car that’s double-parked – you need to signal your intention, then pass on the left:

  • Look behind you to see if a car or a bike is approaching;
  • Using your arm, signal to others that you’re about to move to the left, then pass;
  • You can also let people verbally know your intention by saying “cyclist on the left” to the person you’re passing.

Follow the flow of traffic

It’s critical to ride in the same direction as the traffic. On a two-way bike path, always keep right. On one-way bike lanes and designated roadways, follow the direction of the chevrons. The arrows on the pavement indicate the direction to follow.

When a roadway isn’t equipped with a bike lane, you have to ride in the same direction as the automobile traffic, unless signage allows cyclists to ride in the opposite direction.

See toolbox »

Join Vélo Québec in promoting good biking practices to adopt in your network. Use the campaign tools – a video message, 6-second animations,, a poster, visuals for your Facebook and Twitter communications – and take action!

This campaign is an initiative of Vélo Québec and made possible with the support of ministère des Transports, through the Programme d´aide financière du Fonds de la sécurité routière.