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Road safety tips for the end of the school year | #schoolsaftey

Cyclists must travel on the righthand side of the road, as close to the edge of the road as possible, except when preparing to turn left, when passing another vehicle, or if the lane is too narrow to share

As the school year comes to an end and students begin their summer vacation, the North Bay Police Service is providing motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians with some road safety tips to keep everyone safe.

Motorist Safety

As children are outside more enjoying the summer months, motorists are reminded to focus on the road and be aware of their surroundings. Children can be less predictable than adults and may enter the roadway without indicating that they may do so. Always be particularly attentive when driving with children in the area.

Remember that distracted driving is a serious offence and can come with a fine of $615 to $3,000, three to six demerit points, and a 3-day to 30-day driving suspension, depending on the offence. When you are operating a motor vehicle, whether driving or stopped in traffic or at a red light or stop sign, it is illegal to:

  • Use a phone or other hand-held wireless communication device to text or dial – you can only touch a device to call 911 in an emergency;
  • Use a hand-held electronic entertainment device, such as a tablet or portable gaming console;
  • View display screens unrelated to driving, such as watching a video; and,
  • Program a GPS device, except by voice commands

If you endanger the lives of others by driving while distracted by actions such as eating, grooming, smoking, reading, or reaching for objects within your vehicle, you can be charged with careless driving. Careless driving can result in six demerit points, fines up to $2,000, a jail term of six months, and a licence suspension of up to two years, depending on the offense.

Pedestrian Safety

When there is not a sidewalk on a roadway, pedestrians should walk on the left hand side of the roadway, as close to the left edge as possible, facing oncoming traffic. This ensures you are clearly visible to traffic and that you are aware of oncoming traffic. Pedestrians are prohibited from walking on 400-series highways.

Cyclist Safety

Bicycles are considered “vehicles” that belong on the road. This means cyclists must travel with the flow of traffic and follow all applicable traffic laws.

Cyclists must travel on the right hand side of the road, as close to the edge of the road as possible, except when preparing to turn left, when passing another vehicle, or if the lane is too narrow to share. Like pedestrians, cyclists are also prohibited from travelling on 400-series highways.

Laws for children operating bicycles are slightly different:

  • Cyclists under the age of 10 can travel on sidewalks;
  • Cyclists under the age of 18 must wear an approved bicycle helmet;
  • a parent or guardian must ensure children aged 16 and under wear their helmets;
  • Children riding in a child carrier or bicycle trailer are also required to wear a helmet.

By law, all bicycles operating on roadways are required to be equipped with:

  • A bell or horn;
  • Lights and reflectors:
  • a white light mounted on the front of the bike
  • a red light or reflector mounted on the back at night
  • White reflective tape on the front forks and red reflective tape on the rear forks

Additional safety information from Ontario’s Ministry of Transportation can be found online at: www.ontario.ca/page/bicycle-safety

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