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ON THE ROAD,
OUR SAFETY IS LINKED TOGETHER.

At Vélo Québec, safety has been at the heart of our mission for over 50 years. We are proud to present this new campaign, in cooperation with various partners. It is aimed at demonstrating how good conduct on the road creates a positive chain reaction for all users – cyclists, pedestrians and motorists. As cyclists, let’s set an example and promote better road sharing.

8 GOOD CYCLING PRACTICES TO ADOPT!

To ride safely and share the road better

Be visible at night

Not only are reflectors and lights mandatory, they’re indispensable. Cyclists who are hard to see at night don’t just put themselves at risk – they put everyone else on the road at risk as well.

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.

Keep your distance from trucks

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

  • You’re never between a truck and the sidewalk
  • You never pass a truck unless it’s stopped and its hazard lights are on
  • You stay behind a truck when it’s stopped.

Respect red lights

Everyone on the road has to respect traffic lights at all times. A red light is red for everyone. It’s a simple, clear, and indispensible way to avoid chaos and collisions.

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
  • Wait behind buses at intersections
  • 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 goes a long way toward avoiding altercations!

Ride at moderate speeds

When you’re biking in an urban setting, go between 15 and 20 km/hr to make sure you stay safe. Riding at this speed will let you interact with other people on the road and help you react quickly to the unexpected. Cyclists who go too fast become vulnerable, because they’re not completely aware of their environment. A pedestrian crossing the street, a car door opening, and a cyclist crossing between two intersections are all part of urban life!

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 the traffic

It’s critical to ride in the same direction as the traffic. On a two-way bike path, always stay on the right. On one-way bike lanes and designated roadways, follow the direction of the chevrons (the arrows on the ground). One arrow, one direction. It’s as simple as that.

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.

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