The Highway Safety Code applies to everyone who uses public roads and sidewalks in Quebec. We all have a legal duty to be careful and considerate of others when using these public spaces. Do you know how the rules of road safety differ depending on how you travel?
Drivers must pay special attention to the safety of others
Drivers are less vulnerable than cyclists, pedestrians, and people with reduced mobility. Because of this, drivers have the duty to show extra care for the safety of these other travellers.
For example, drivers must make sure that they can safely pass a cyclist on the road before doing so. Drivers passing cyclists in the same lane must do so at a distance of at least 1.5 m on roads where the speed limit is more than 50 km/h. They must pass at a distance of at least 1 m where the speed limit is 50 km/h or less.
Other travellers must do their part to promote safety
Cyclists, pedestrians, and people with reduced mobility have the duty to keep themselves safe.
For example, pedestrians must use sidewalks where they are available. If there is no sidewalk or the sidewalk cannot be used, pedestrians must make sure that it’s safe to walk on the edge of the road before doing so. Pedestrians on the road must walk opposite the flow of traffic unless other factors such as lighting or the size of the shoulder make walking with traffic the safer option.
Cyclists must also keep in mind the safety of travellers more vulnerable than themselves.
They must usually ride on the edge of the road in the same direction as traffic rather than on the sidewalk. However, cyclists can ride on the sidewalk if there is a sign or signal allowing them to do so or if they need to do so for their own safety. In these cases, cyclists must slow down and give priority to pedestrians.