September 28, 2017

It is officially fall now, the weather is great and there are still many cyclist are still on the roads. Here are some bicycle safety changes for both, driver and cyclist on the roads.

New One-Metre Passing Law for Bicycle Safety

1 Meter safe passing distance for cyclist safety

Q1: What is the penalty to drivers for not leaving a minimum of one-metre distance when passing a cyclist?

The penalty for not leaving a minimum one-metre passing distance is a set fine of $85.00 plus a $5 court fee plus a $20 victim surcharge fine for a total payable of $110.00.

Drivers who contest their ticket by going to court may face a fine of up to $500 if found guilty (fine range is $60 to $500). Upon conviction, two demerit points will also be assigned against the individual’s driver record.

Q2: Will cyclists also be required to leave a minimum one-metre distance when passing a vehicle?

Cyclists are not required to leave a specific one-metre space; however, they are required to obey all the rules of the road.   Cyclists who are being overtaken should turn out to the right to allow the vehicle to pass.

Q3: What if there isn’t enough room to allow for a one-metre passing distance?  Can a vehicle cross the centre median line to pass the cyclist?

A motorist may, if done safely, and in compliance with the rules of the road, cross the centre line of a roadway in order to pass a cyclist. If this cannot be done, he or she must wait behind the cyclist until it is safe to pass.


Q1. What is “dooring”?

“Dooring” is when a motorist opens the door to their parked car on the side of the road without paying attention to on coming cycling traffic. The result is that the oncoming cyclists collides with the door that’s opening.

Q2. What are the new increased penalties for “dooring” offenses?

The new penalties for improper opening of a vehicle door (for driver or passenger) are a set fine of $300.00 upon conviction and 3 demerit points. The total payable fine is $365.00 ($set fine plus $60 victim fine surcharge and $5 court costs).

The current HTA set fine for “dooring” offence is $85.00 upon conviction and the total payable fine is $110 ($set fine plus $20 victim fine surcharge and $5 court fees). Additionally a conviction results in 2 demerit points being added to the individual’s driver record.

Q3. Does the “dooring” law only apply to cyclists?

Although cyclists may be the most commonly perceived road user affected by this behaviour, the “dooring” law applies to all road users and is not specific to cyclists.

The government is committed to helping ensure the safety of not only cyclists but all road users.

Stay safe on the roads, be respectful of others and for all your insurance needs, contact Rice Inc, in the Kitchener Waterloo Region.

(Excerpt from the Ontario Ministry of Transportation website).