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Pedestrian & cyclist safety

When it comes to road safety – whether you’re driving, cycling or simply walking – being aware of your surroundings is key.

Pedestrians today are distracted by electronic devices, often aren’t paying attention, and may walk into traffic. With both the Loyola and Sir George Williams campuses situated along busy streets, the safety of pedestrians and cyclists is an important priority.

Pedestrian safety

  • Make yourself visible to drivers and cyclists: wear reflective or light clothing at night, stay in well-lit areas, and make eye contact with drivers or cyclists prior to crossing their path.
  • Do not text or talk when walking, wear headphones, or partake in other sources of distraction. You need your senses about you to avoid accidents.
  • Follow the rules and yield to traffic with right of way. Do not assume traffic will stop for you, always assess your own safety before proceeding.
  • Stay on the sidewalk whenever possible.
  • Consider other modes of transport, like calling a taxi or having a designated driver, if you are going to be drinking. Alcohol consumption impairs your reflexes and decisionmaking abilities while walking, too.
  • Do not walk in vehicles' blind spots.
  • Do not cross an intersection diagonally unless signs or peace officers indicate otherwise.

Remember where you have right of way:

  • Pedestrian lights: Right of way during walk (white silhouette) or flashing hand signal.
  • Traffic lights: Right of way on the green light only.
  • Stop signs at intersections: Right of way at all times.

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Cyclist safety

  • Wear a helmet and ensure it is adjusted properly. See how to properly adjust your helmet in the Québec Safe Cycling Guide.
  • Ride with the flow of traffic.
  • Be visible at all times and avoid blind spots on heavy vehicles.
  • If there is more than one lane, ride in the far right lane.
  • Signal turns and lane changes and check to ensure your path is clear. View images of bike signals in the Québec Safe Cycling Guide.
  • Watch for vehicle taillights signalling turns or stops.
  • Watch vehicle occupants to avoid being hit by an opening car door.
  • Make eye contact with road users before proceeding into an intersection to ensure they will yield right of way.
  • Use bike lanes where possible.
  • Adjust your driving to the weather conditions. Keep longer distance when braking in rainy or snowy conditions.
  • Cyclists must yield to pedestrians at intersections.
  • Ride single file if with other cyclists.

How to go around vehicles that are turning right:

When turning right, motorists do not always check to see whether there are cyclists. Be extra cautious: If a vehicle is turning right: stay behind it or pass it on the left if you can perform the manoeuvre safely.

If safe to go around:

  1. Look over your left shoulder to see whether the way is clear.
  2. Signal your intention to go left. 
  3. Look over your left shoulder again.
  4. Pass on the left when it is safe to do so safely.


Under the Highway Safety Code, cyclists are prohibited from:

  • Cycling on highways, on-ramps, and exit ramps.
  • Cycling against the flow of traffic (unless signage dictates otherwise).
  • Cycling on sidewalks.
  • Using earphones while cycling.
  • Cycling between multiple lanes of moving vehicles.
  • Cycling without or with faulty brake systems.
  • Carrying a passenger without appropriate seating.
  • Drinking while cycling.

Did you know it is mandatory to have the following accessories while cycling?

  • Rear red reflector.
  • Front white reflector.
  • Reflectors on spokes of both wheels, visible from either side.
  • Amber reflectors on both pedals.

Driver safety around cyclists

You can do your part to keep pedestrians and cyclists safe by following these guidelines:

  • Look out for cyclists
  • Do not honk your horn when approaching cyclists.
  • Be careful at intersections.
  • Before opening your door, make sure there are no oncoming cyclists. Under the Highway Safety Code, you are required to perform this check to protect cyclists.
  • Yield to pedestrians and cyclists with right of way.
  • Use your lights and signal properly. 
  • Do not text or talk while driving.
  • Do not drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

How to pass cyclists:

  • Keep your distance
  • When passing a cyclist, the Highway Safety Code requires that you slow down and keep a distance of 1 metre between your vehicle and the cyclist in zones of 50 km/h or less, and 1.5 metres in zones of more than 50 km/h. 
  • Please note that the Highway Safety Code authorizes you to cross a solid line to pass a cyclist if you can do so safely. 
  • As you merge back into your lane, make sure you leave the cyclist a reasonable amount of space.


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