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Traffic Rules for Cyclists

When can a cyclist cross an intersection?

 

On a red light, a cyclist must stop and wait for the green before advancing.

Pedestrian signals are for pedestrians only. Cyclists must obey the traffic signals, like all other vehicles unless a signage indicates that he must cross at the same time as the pedestrian light.

 

 

 

 

 

How should a cyclist make a left turn?

 

They are two ways a cyclist can make a left turn

Like a pedestrian

  1. Cross the intersection on the green light
  2. On the opposite corner, turn and get in position to ride in the new direction
  3. Cross when the traffic light turns green

Like a road vehicle

  1. Get in the left lane
  2. Make the turn on the green light and move to the far right of the road

Turning at an intersection: should drivers yield to cyclists who are going 

Yes.

When turning at an intersection, drivers of motor vehicles must yield the right of way to cyclists who want to go straight through (Article 349 of the Highway Safety Code). 

 

At a red light: Can cyclists turn left?

No. 

When cyclists come to a red light, they must stop before the pedestrian crosswalk or the stop line or, if there is none, at the near side of the roadway. They may not continue until they receive a signal to proceed. (Article 359 of the Highway Safety Code.) 

in summary, cyclists must comply with the same rules of the road that bind motor vehicle drivers, except for the following restrictions:

  • They must always travel on the extreme right-hand side of the road
  • They must ride in single file when in groups of two or more

Infractions and penalties

Not respecting these rules constitutes a violation

Penalties plus applicables fees  

 Red light

Unless otherwise indicated, when approaching a red light, cyclists must stop before the pedestrian crossing or the stop line; if there is none, they must stop in front of the lateral line on the road at the intersection. They can carry on as soon as the signal changes. 

 

$15

3 demerit points

(Article 359)

 Obligatory stop

A bicycle rider approaching a STOP sign must stop and yield passage to any vehicle that is either turning into the intersection or close enough to present danger of collision.  

 

$15

3 demerit points

 (Article 369)

Yielding the right of way

A bicycle rider turning in an intersection must yield passage to other pedestrians and cyclists.  

 

$15

2 demerit points

(Article 349)

  

 Riding with the flow of traffic and on the far right-hand side

Bicycle riders must ride on the far right-hand side of the road and with the flow of traffic, except if that passage is blocked or if they are turning left.   

 

$15

(Article 487)

Portable music device (iPod) or earphones

Bicycle riders cannot listen to a walkman or wear ear-phones while riding. 

 

$30

(Article 440)

 Riding on the sidewalk

A bicycle rider cannot ride on the sidewalk unless there is no other option or signs indicate otherwise. 

 

$15

(Article 492.1)

 Riding between two lanes of vehicles

A cyclist cannot ride between two adjacent lanes of vehicles. 

 

$15

(Article 478)

Riding in single file

Bicycle riders that travel in groups of two or more must ride in single file. Groups may not consist of more than 15 cyclists.  

 

$15

(Article 486)

 Compliance with signals

The driver of a bicycle must conform to any and all road signals. 

 

$15 

(Article 388)

Reflectors

All bicycles must have at least:

1 - A white reflector in front

2 - A red reflector in back

3 - A yellow reflector on each pedal

4 - A reflector attached to the front wheel

5 - A reflector attached to the rear wheel  

 

$15

(Article 232)

Lights at night

All bicycles must have at least one white headlight in front and one red light in the back. 

 

$15 

(Article 233)

 

Other rules

Riding against traffic

The Highway Safety Code (HSC) stipulates that, unless otherwise authorized, cyclists must ride in the same direction as traffic.

Contrary to pedestrians who are required to walk against traffic in the absence of a sidewalk, cyclists must ride in the same direction as road vehicles.

Drivers have less time to notice cyclists riding against traffic, as the bicycle approaches more quickly. Drivers therefore have less time to react or to make room for the cyclist.

Drivers at cross roads or exiting a private property do not expect to face a cyclist riding against traffic.

In the event of a head-on collision between a bicycle and a car, the impact will be greater because both speeds—that of the car and that of the bicycle—are combined.

Cyclists riding against traffic become more vulnerable when they pass cyclists riding in the same direction as traffic. The space between parked vehicles and those in motion becomes even more limited.


Riding on the sidewalk

 

The Highway Safety Code (HSC) prohibits cyclists from riding on the sidewalk except in cases of necessity or where there are signs permitting this.

It is important to respect the different sidewalk users. For their safety and comfort, walk next to your bicycle if you need to use the sidewalk to get to a business or to your home.

In Montréal, there are some places known to be less safe for cyclists (e.g., tunnels and viaducts). For this reason, the Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM) is working with the City of Montréal's Transport Department and Vélo-Québec to find solutions for improving cyclist safety.

In the meantime, it is important to continue to respect the Highway Safety Code.

 

Stopping at a stop sign

The Highway Safety Code specifies that drivers and cyclists must stop their vehicle (or bicycle) when facing a stop sign.

Police officers do not require cyclists to stop for three seconds or put their foot down before taking off again.


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