Share the Road

Safety on the road is about being courteous to all road users. Motorists should remember that they are sharing the road, not just with other cars, trucks and buses, but with bicycles and pedestrians as well. All vehicles (including bicycles) must follow the rules of the road at all times.  

Rules of the Road - Cyclists and DriversShare the Road sign

Bicycles are vehicles and cyclists have the same rights and duties as motorists!

Ontario Highway Traffic Act and the Ottawa Traffic and Parking Bylaw require the the following:

  1. Stop at all stop signs and red lights.
  2. Signal all lane changes, turns and stops.
  3. Drive/ride on the right side of the road.
  4. Drive/ride only in the designated direction on one-way streets.
  5. It is unsafe and illegal to ride on the sidewalk.
  6. Share the road with other users.
  7. Use lights when driving/riding at night.Ottawa Police Officers wearing bike helmets.
  8. Have a bell or horn on your bike.
  9. Cyclists wear a helmet (required if under 18 years old), drivers wear a seatbelt.
  10. Cyclists use proper hand signalling when turning and stopping.

Driving Tips for Motor Vehicle:

Treat bicycles as you would any other vehicle on the road. Cyclists generally ride in the right-most through traffic lane, about one meter from the curb or parked cars.

  • When passing a cyclist, leave a safe distance between your car and the bicycle. Give extra passing distance during slippery road conditions.
  • Pass at a moderate speed and give plenty of space on quiet roads. Cyclists may be startled by Female driver doing a shoulder vehicles.
  • Be alert to your surroundings - shoulder check and signal all lane changes and turns.
  • Communicate with cyclists- try to make eye contact with cyclists and if you're unsure of their next move, wait.
  • Check for bicycles in your side view mirror before opening your car doors. Riding at night is riding between ½ hour before sunset and ½ hour after sunrise.
  • See and be seen! In the winter, clear snow from all your entire car so you can see and others can see you!

Riding Tips for Cyclists:

  1. Ride predictably and defensively.
  2. Ride in a straight line at least one meter from the curb or parked cars.
  3. You may occupy any part of a lane when your safety warrants it. Never compromise your safety just for the convenience of others.
  4. Be alert of your surroundings - shoulder check when you turn or change lanes.
  5. Give pedestrians the right-of-way.
  6. Dress to be visible.
  7. Keep your bicycle well maintained.
  8. Make eye contact when possible and use hand signals to communicate with drivers

Riding Tips for Motorcycles:

  1. Ride predictably and defensively.Police Motorcycles
  2. Divide the large group of riders into several smaller groups. Have them leave at staggered times to the same destination. This will be less intimidating to novice riders and safer for other road users as well.
  3. No passing within the lane.
  4. Ride only in a staggered formation.
  5. Safe and proper following distance between motorcycles.

Avoid injury or even death - always be aware of your surroundings and share the road.

More info on road safety: