Current Status: First Reading Carried
Bill 74 2010
An Act to amend the Highway Traffic Act to promote bicycle safety
Note: This Act amends the Highway Traffic Act. For the legislative history of the Act, see the Table of Consolidated Public Statutes – Detailed Legislative History at www.e-Laws.gov.on.ca.
The purpose of this Act is to educate the public and in particular motorists about the safe passing of cyclists and to provide the police with both an educational and enforcement tool that will reduce injuries and fatalities.
Therefore, Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Ontario, enacts as follows:
1. Subsection 147 (1) of the Highway Traffic Act is amended by striking out “Any vehicle travelling upon a roadway” at the beginning and substituting “Any vehicle, except a bicycle, travelling upon a roadway”.
2. The Act is amended by adding the following sections:
Bicycles to travel on right side
147.1 (1) Subject to subsection (2), a cyclist travelling upon a roadway shall, where practicable, proceed in the right-hand lane then available for traffic or as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway.
(2) Subsection (1) does not apply if any of the following circumstances exist:
1. The cyclist is overtaking and passing another cyclist or vehicle proceeding in the same direction.
2. The cyclist is preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway.
3. The cyclist, by exercising reasonable caution, is avoiding fixed or moving objects, including vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians, animals or surface hazards.
4. The cyclist is proceeding in a lane that is too narrow for a bicycle and another vehicle to travel safely side by side.
5. The cyclist is proceeding side by side with another bicycle.
Bicycles overtaken by vehicles
147.2 (1) For the purposes of this section, a vehicle does not include a bicycle.
Vehicles to leave safe travelling distance
(2) Every driver or operator of a vehicle meeting or overtaking a person on a bicycle shall exercise due care by leaving the safe travelling distance described in subsection (3) between the vehicle and the bicycle.
(3) For the purposes of subsection (2), when a vehicle is meeting or overtaking a bicycle, the safe travelling distance is,
(a) three feet between the vehicle and the bicycle, if the vehicle is travelling at a speed equal to or less than 50 kilometres per hour;
(b) four feet between the vehicle and the bicycle, if the vehicle is travelling at a speed greater than 50 kilometres per hour, but less than 80 kilometres per hour; and
(c) five feet between the vehicle and the bicycle, if the vehicle is travelling at a speed equal to or greater than 80 kilometres per hour.
(4) In case of a collision between a bicycle and a vehicle, the driver or operator of the vehicle is presumed not to have left the safe travelling distance required under subsection (2).
(5) Every person who contravenes subsection (2) is guilty of an offence and on conviction is liable to a fine of not less than $310 and not more than $750.
(6) In addition to the fine described in subsection (5), if a court is satisfied on the evidence that a contravention of subsection (2) resulted in,
(a) serious bodily harm to the cyclist, the driver or operator of the vehicle is liable to a fine of $1,500; or
(b) the death of the cyclist, the driver or operator of the vehicle is liable to a fine of $5,000.
(7) If a person is convicted of an offence under subsection (5), the court shall, in addition to a fine imposed under that subsection, order that the person complete, at his or her own cost, a prescribed remedial program concerning the rules in this section.
(8) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations,
(a) governing a remedial program required under this section and prescribing what constitutes its completion; and
(b) prescribing fees for the remedial program.
Bicycles overtaken by equestrians
147.3 Every person on a bicycle who is overtaken by an equestrian travelling at a greater speed shall turn out to the right and allow the equestrian to pass and the equestrian overtaking shall turn out to the left so far as may be necessary to avoid a collision.
3. (1) Subsection 148 (4) of the Act is repealed.
(2) Subsection 148 (6) of the Act is repealed and the following substituted:
Motor assisted bicycles overtaken
(6) Every person on a motor assisted bicycle who is overtaken by a vehicle or equestrian travelling at a greater speed shall turn out to the right and allow the vehicle or equestrian to pass and the vehicle or equestrian overtaking shall turn out to the left so far as may be necessary to avoid a collision.
4. This Act comes into force on the day it receives Royal Assent.
5. The short title of this Act is the Highway Traffic Amendment Act (Safe Passing Bicycles), 2010.
The Bill amends the Highway Traffic Act in connection with bicycle safety. New section 147.1 of the Act is added to provide that cyclists travelling at less that the normal speed of traffic must, subject to specified exceptions, proceed in the right-hand lane or as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway.
New section 147.2 of the Act provides that every driver or operator of a vehicle meeting or overtaking a person on a bicycle must maintain a safe travelling distance. The safe travelling distances is three to five feet, depending on the vehicle’s speed. In the case of a collision, the driver or operator of a vehicle is presumed to have not left a safe travelling distance between the vehicle and the bicycle.
It is an offence not to leave the required safe travelling distance when passing or overtaking a bicycle. A person convicted of the offence is liable to a fine of not less than $310 and not more than $750, and is required to attend a remedial program. A driver or operator of a vehicle is liable to an additional fine of,
(a) $1,500 if the contravention results in serious bodily harm to a cyclist; or
(b) $5,000 if the contravention results in the cyclist’s death.