Cyclists won't be seeing red at intersections as changes to Highway Safety Code come into effect
Published Thursday, April 18, 2019 2:10PM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, April 18, 2019 7:06PM EDT
Changes to Quebec’s Highway Safety Code that came into effect on Thursday will have cyclists seeing red in a good way.
According to the changes, cyclists will now be allowed to go through red lights in very specific situations. The rule change only applies if there is also a pedestrian light that is lit up at the intersection.
Velo-Quebec spokesperson Magalie Berbronne said the change was one the organization had been asking for for some time.
“The research shows that most crashes happen at intersections. Most of the time when we have a fatality in Montreal it involves a truck turning right onto a cyclist because the driver never saw them because of their blind spots,” she said. “The same way we give pedestrian a head start to start walking through the intersection to be more visible and maybe even clear the intersection so the cars can move forward. We wanted that to apply to cyclists as well because it will improve their security.”
A spokesperson for CAA Quebec said the organization is in favour of the change but did also have concerns.
Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante said she was "confident that everybody will take more responsibility for their own actions."
"I do trust and I encourage everybody using the public space to be aware of people around them," she said. "For bikes, I think it will be helpful for some security issues as well."
The Highway Safety Code was amended last April and included several other changes for cyclists that have already come into effect. Among those are that cyclists are no longer obligated to signal their intentions to slow down or stop. Municipalities also gained the ability to allow cycling on sidewalks.
For drivers, changes to the code include more severe punishments for using a cell phone while driving.
The updated Highway Safety Code also has changes to the rules pertaining to car seats for children.