March 15, 2019 3:53 pm

Guelph police urge drivers, cyclists to share road as spring approaches

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With the warm weather approaching, drivers can expect to see more cyclists out on the roads around Guelph.

The police department and the Guelph Coalition for Active Transportation are urging drivers and cyclists to warm up to each other and share the road.

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Guelph police said officers are using the St. Patrick’s Day weekend to speak to drivers about the rules.

They will be conducting their usual RIDE program around town and while they will be targeting impaired drivers, they will also be handing out leaflets from the coalition that explain the responsibilities of drivers and cyclists.

“We want to start getting some messages out, reminding people about some of the rules of the road for both cyclists and drivers,” said Const. Mike Gatto.

“We know that it’s always an issue. Bikes and cars don’t always get along out there on the roads.”

Police said a driver must leave a distance of at least one metre or three feet when passing a cyclist or else face a fine of $85 or $150 in community safety zones. It also comes with two demerit points upon conviction.

As for cyclists, police said they must stay close to right edge of the road if they can.

“We understand that sometimes there’s potholes or safety issues that will bring them further from the right edge than they want to be,” Gatto said. “When it’s possible, stay as close to the right edge as possible.”

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Gatto admitted there are some areas in Guelph that are not cyclist-friendly, like the narrow stretch of Speedvale Avenue between Woolwich and Stevenson streets.

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But he said it’s up to the driver to safely get around the cyclist with that one-metre buffer.

“If there is a cyclist on the road, they have the right to be there,” Gatto said.

“If you have to slow to the speed of the cyclist because you can’t get into that centre lane, then you’re going to have to slow to the speed of the cyclist. You can’t just edge by them.”

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