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Sharing the road with cyclists and pedestrians

Published on August 3, 2022


Being aware of others on the road means you have to be attentive at all times. Everywhere you look you’ll see cyclists, pedestrians and other motorists…to name just a few. 

Learn about measures you can take to be able to share the road safely with everyone around you.

Before we go any further... 

We all have a role to play to ensure everyone is safe on the road, whether we’re in a car, on a bike or on foot. In fact, the Highway Safety Code has specific regulations about sharing the road. They include: 

  • Using hazard lights or, if you’re a cyclist, hand signals.
  • Giving the right of way when you must do so.
  • Not honking your horn unnecessarily.
  • Not cutting off other vehicles.
  • Not encroaching on pedestrian crossings when you’re stopped at an intersection.

Sharing the road is above all treating others with respect. It’s also about being tolerant under any circumstances. 

Plus, always keep a reasonable and safe distance from vehicles, bikes and pedestrians, whether they’re in front of or behind you.  

For more information, visit the Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ) website, which is full of useful tips on the topic. 

Look out for pedestrians

Pedestrians are vulnerable, so be careful! Slow down and maintain a safe distance between your vehicle and the pedestrian: 

  • 1 m in zones where the speed limit is 50 km/h or less
  • 1.5 m in zones where the speed limit is above 50 km/h

If you do not comply with these rules, you may be fined between $200-$300 and receive 2 demerit points on your driving record So make sure you follow the Highway Safety Code. 

Give the right of way

Drivers must be vigilant at all times! But especially at pedestrian crosswalks and intersections. 

Pedestrian crosswalks

In your car in front of a pedestrian crosswalk? You must stop as soon as a pedestrian intends to cross. Whether he or she makes a hand gesture, is waiting on the sidewalk or the pedestrian crosswalk, making eye contact, etc.
And you should also let pedestrians know they can cross. Use a hand gesture to show your intention. 


In your car in front of an intersection? Stop your car ahead of the stop line. Then give way to pedestrians. 

You must always give way to them at intersections. Otherwise, you can face a fine of between $100-$200 and receive 2 demerit points on your driving record. 

Use caution with cyclists

Cyclists are just as vulnerable as pedestrians, so be careful! When you’re behind the wheel, you have to keep a safe distance between your vehicle and others on the road. 

If you have to pass a cyclist, slow down and leave a distance between you and the cyclist of: 

  • 1 m in zones where the speed limit is 50 km/h or less
  • 1.5 m in zones where the speed limit is above 50 km/h 

Passing a cyclist without slowing down or leaving the recommended space is a violation of the Highway Safety Code. 

Signalling your intentions

Regardless of your method of transportation, signalling your intentions is not’s a must. You have to alert others of your next move. Turning left, changing lanes or passing someone? Use your turn signals. If not, you could be facing a fine of between $80-$200. Think about it!

By being courteous on the road, you create a friendly environment which reduces the risk of accidents. Be cautious. 

Think of your safety and the safety of others. Safety is a shared responsibility.  

Insurance brokers are there to help you.

Call on these professionals for guidance on all insurance- related matters. They will be able to answer all your questions.