Pedestrians, cyclists and motorcycle riders also share the roadways with all vehicle operators on a daily basis. These road users have less protection than drivers of other types of vehicles. Be cautious when operating your vehicle around pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcycle riders.

Pedestrian safety

When you see a yellow flashing pedestrian-activated traffic light, slow to 30 km/h and yield to pedestrians wanting to cross the street.

Pedestrian indicating intention to cross the street.

Pedestrian indicating intention to cross the street
  • In an urban area, pedestrians may indicate their intention to cross a street by raising an arm at a right angle and pointing to the opposite curb.
  • When pedestrians indicate their intention to cross the street, you must stop your vehicle safely before the crosswalk and allow them to cross.
  • When a pedestrian has entered a marked or unmarked crosswalk, you must yield the right-of-way.
  • When stopping for a pedestrian at a crosswalk, stop far enough back (about two to three car lengths) so that traffic in another lane will be able to see the pedestrian and have time to stop.
  • Never pass another vehicle when you are approaching a crosswalk. There is always a chance that the other vehicle is slowing or stopping for a pedestrian.
  • Not all crosswalks are marked, but the rules of pedestrian safety should be followed at all intersections.
  • Be considerate of visually impaired pedestrians. Some will have a white cane or guide dog.
  • At night, do not over-drive your headlights. This means you should drive so you are able to stop your vehicle within the distance you can clearly see with your headlights.
  • When it is dark, be alert for pedestrians. If they are wearing dark clothing, they can be difficult to see from a distance.
  • Children can be unpredictable. In residential areas, watch for children around parked vehicles, riding bikes or playing on the street. Glance under parked vehicles ahead on both sides of the road to check for children's feet, toys, and bicycle wheels. These provide warning that you may need to stop.

Bicycles

The law requires cyclists or passengers on a bicycle, who are under 18 years of age, to wear an approved bicycle safety helmet.

Remember the following tips when sharing the road with a cyclist:

  • A cyclist who is walking beside and pushing a bicycle is a pedestrian.
  • Cyclists are required to ride as close as practicable to the right curb. However, they may need to ride further out when avoiding drainage grates, pot holes, debris, gravel or sand, wet or slippery surfaces, and rutted or grooved pavement. Be aware of the roadway conditions that may affect a cyclist.
  • A bicycle that is being ridden is a vehicle. A cyclist must follow the rules of the road like drivers of other vehicles.
    • A cyclist seated on a bicycle at an intersection, waiting for a traffic control signal, has the same rights and responsibilities as any other vehicle waiting to proceed.
    • Cyclists are required to use the proper lane when turning left. A bicycle and rider are smaller than other vehicles, are less visible, and more exposed to traffic on left turns. Cyclists need extra consideration when turning left, especially on multi-lane roads.
  • When passing a cyclist, change lanes like you would for other vehicles.
  • When you are preparing to turn right, watch for cyclists who may ride along side your vehicle. Remember to do a shoulder check to your blind spots to the right.
  • When parked at the curb, always check for cyclists before you open your vehicle door. It is the driver's responsibility to wait until it is safe before opening the door.
  • Before moving away from the curb, check for cyclists who may be riding past your vehicle.
  • Do not follow too closely behind cyclists. They do not have brake lights to warn you when they are stopping.
  • Be alert for children on bicycles. They may lack the necessary knowledge and skills for safe cycling around traffic, and may not be aware of all the dangers. Children on oversized bicycles are at risk of losing control.

Cyclists using the streets and highways should do the following:

  • Keep both hands on the hand grips except when hand signalling.
  • Keep both feet on the pedals.
  • Only carry the number of people the bicycle is designed to carry.
  • Never hold onto, or attach the bicycle to any other moving vehicle.
  • Ride single file except when passing another bicycle.
  • For cycling after dark, equip the bicycle with at least one headlamp (but not more than two), one red tail lamp, and at least one red reflector mounted on the rear of the bicycle. Wear bright and reflective clothing.
  • Be sure the bicycle has brakes that work well.
  • Be sure that the bicycle is equipped with a bell or horn.

Motorcycles

Motorcycle riders often travel in the left portion of their lane. This helps make them more visible to other road users. It does not mean they will be turning left.

Sometimes a motorcycle's turn signals can be hard to see. Watch the rider for clues. If the rider does a shoulder check, he or she may be intending to change lanes or turn.

When turning left, watch for oncoming motorcycles. They can be hard to see, especially in heavy traffic, at night or at dusk. It may also be difficult to judge the speed of the motorcycle.

Here are some tips to help you drive safely when there are motorcycles on the road:

  • Never share a lane with a motorcycle rider. A motorcycle rider needs the whole lane to travel safely.
  • Be aware that motorcycle riders will often move within their lane to avoid road hazards like pot holes and to maintain a space cushion from other vehicles.
  • When you are following someone riding a motorcycle, allow extra space between your vehicle and the motorcycle because motorcycles can stop very quickly.
  • Be aware that poor weather and road conditions and road hazards could make the motorcycle rider lose control.
  • Sharing the Road
  • Vulnerable road users