Cyclists must know rules of road

With warmer weather arriving and Bike to Work Week coming up on May 26-30, North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP are reminding drivers and cyclists of some of the rules of the road.

"Drivers and cyclists must be cautious of other roadway users, and ensure they obey the rules of the road," Cpl. Jon Stuart said.

Tips for riders include: BE HELMETED – It’s not only the law, but a helmet can also save your life.

"Everyone who rides needs a helmet, which must be sized appropriately and buckled under the chin," Stuart said. "Often we see people riding bikes with helmets dangling from their backpacks or handle bars. Sometimes, we see parents riding with children – they make the children wear a helmet, but set a poor example by not wearing one. If you are not wearing a helmet, you could receive a fine; it is not only cheaper to buy one, but it has the benefit of protecting you as well."

BE VISIBLE – Between dusk and dawn, reflectors and front and rear lights are required.

"This can help you being seen by others," Stuart said. "You could also wear bright clothes, and reflective materials to increase your visibility."

BE CAREFUL – Cyclists have to share roads and paths with cars, fellow riders, scooters and pedestrians.

"Be aware when approaching others, as you do not always know what they are going to do," Stuart said. "By law, a cyclist must obey stop signs and the other rules of the road, or face fines."

BE AWARE – Cyclists need to keep their eyes on the road ahead and know what is going on around them.

"Is there someone getting out of a car in front of you?" Stuart cautioned. "Are you riding by the front door of a store that might open suddenly? Is there a road/bridge/pothole/manhole cover in front of you? Being aware of things around you keeps you safer. This includes not wearing headphones. If you can’t hear a vehicle approaching, a car horn, or someone yelling to warn you, you are putting your life at risk."

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