LITTLE CURRENT – Summer is here and the number of motorists, cyclists, horse-drawn vehicles, farm equipment and pedestrians has increased on our local roadways. The Manitoulin detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) is reminding all road users to stay alert and follow the rules of the road.
Horse -drawn vehicles, tractors and farm trailers are all using our roads and/or crossing them. Not all are required to have slow-moving vehicle signs but will most likely be travelling at 40 kilometres per hour or less. Motorists are recommended to reduce your speed when approaching these slow-moving vehicles and leave ample room when safely passing them.
Cyclists are also part of the summer traffic that share our roads. Bicycles should always ride with traffic, stay as far right as possible and use correct hand signals to alert others of your intended actions. Bicycles should have a sounding device attached and if riding a bicycle at night it should have a working headlight and tail light.
The most important piece of safety equipment for cycling is an approved and properly fitted helmet. The law requires everyone under the age of 16 to wear a helmet for safety reasons. The OPP recommends that all cyclists wear a helmet at all times.
Motorists also have a role to play when it comes to cycling safety. Drivers must leave a minimum of one metre of distance when passing a cyclist. The penalty, if convicted under the Highway Traffic Act is a fine of $110. The penalty for improperly opening a vehicle door (driver or passenger) is $365 if convicted.
Motorists, if it can be done safely and in compliance with the rules of the road, cross the centre line of a roadway in order to pass a cyclist or other slow-moving vehicle. If this cannot be done safely, the driver must wait behind the cyclist or vehicle until it is safe to pass.
Road safety is everyone’s responsibility. Let’s make sure that the summer of 2019 is a safe and happy one for everyone.