« Berlin bicycling in 1903: No faster than 12 km/h, please | Main | Cyclists with guns can ride two abreast »



Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Y Hache

The motorist in this situation should be the only one charged. Shame on the police officer who could not make the right call. I'm sure the courts will interpret the HTA properly.


In this case the riding 2 abreast charge supports the failure to move as far to the right as practical. As much as I think the cyclists were taking actions that most protect them, those actions are in contravention with the law.

And sadly Y Hache, the courts have proven over and over their ability to treat cyclists as pylons rather than legitimate road users. If any charges are to be dropped, I would expect it to be the charges against the driver as time and time again this is what happens.


I'm stirred up. These charges are very inappropriate. I urge people who are concerned about these charges and the by-law to contact their municipal leaders and the police and the Waterloo Cycling Club. We need to ensure the safety of everyone on the road.


From the Highway Traffic Act:
Bicycles overtaken

(6) Every person on a bicycle or 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. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 148 (6).

Driver unable to turn out is to stop

(7) Where one vehicle is met or overtaken by another, if by reason of the weight of the load on either of the vehicles so meeting or on the vehicle so overtaken the driver finds it impracticable to turn out, he or she shall immediately stop, and, if necessary for the safety of the other vehicle and if required so to do, he or she shall assist the person in charge thereof to pass without damage. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 148 (7).

Most bicyclists that I have seen act as if the highway traffic act doesn't apply to them. They must follow the rules of the road as well, but most can't even be bothered with finding out what the law actually says.


@ CJB I think you may be misreading the section, regarding the overtaking and overtaken vehicle. If the weight of the load on the overtaking or overtaken vehicle makes it impracticable to turn out, the driver shall stop. The issue of "weight of load" surely applies to the truck and trailer, not the bicycle.


@CJB Try driving on any Ontario highway at any point in the day. I think you will find that 99.9% of drivers can't be bothered to follow the rules of the road.

I guess it is one of those things where breaking the law while driving is so common, it has become acceptable.


Single file, stop signs & red lights mean STOP not cruise through at your own discretion. Stay off the sidewalks, walk through crosswalks. Use lights after dusk, put a bell on your bike and use it when approaching other cyclists and pedestrians. You don't own the road, you share it, that goes for trails too. If you can"t follow these simple suggestions do us all a favour and don"t ride a bike.


Something overlooked here, perhaps, is that while some of the cyclists may have been riding two abreast, that was while passing slower cyclists. If that's the case, then we had drivers of vehicles passing drivers of other vehicles - i.e. cyclists passing cyclists. The SUV motorist then proceeded to attempt to pass vehicles which were in the act of passing vehicles, behaivour that, while not contemplated by the HTA, is inappropriate and dangerous.

Denis Baldwin

One of the culprits here is clearly the Highway Traffic Act, much of the text of which presumably dates back much further than 1990, to a time when people drove their horse drawn wagons down the centre of a road. In that situation it would make eminent sense for a road user including cyclists to turn out to the right when meeting another vehicle or being overtaking. However in a more normal modern situation where the cyclist is already close to the right hand side, then I do not believe that the cyclist is expected to take a nose dive into the adjacent ditch. Riding two abreast while being overtaken is questionable, at least on the part of the left hand rider. The Ontario Drivers Handbook, although not the law, states that a cyclists needs a safety margin of one meter on each side. If you add the two meters to a 0.8 meter operating envelope then the cyclist is entitled to basically most of a traffic lane.

Y Hache

Check out this motorist's idea of sharing the road on a well-marked stretch of road. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fz5wffHmpvo

The comments to this entry are closed.