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Rider Safety

Rider Safety

Saskatoon’s Bicycle Bylaw has been updated to bring cycling rules and regulations in line with national best practices. All revisions can be found within the gallery above along with other cycling tips and information on where to ride.

Before you hop on your bike, familiarize yourself with Saskatoon’s Bicycle Bylaw for guidance on how to bike safely around town.

When riding a bike on city streets or pathways, it is important for people understand and comply with the regulations found within the Bicycle Bylaw and Traffic Bylaw. Below are few highlights on how to prepare for your ride and safely interact with other road and pathway users.

Equipment

Before you head out, make sure your bike is equipped with the following:

  • Brakes in good working condition.
  • A headlight and a red rear reflector or light for riding at night and in poor visibility conditions.
  • A horn or bell to warn pedestrians of your presence.

While not required, wearing a helmet is encouraged.

Operating your Bicycle
  • Use due care and attention – Be aware of your surroundings and where you and others are positioned on the street or pathway.
  • Be courteous – Don’t partake in any activity or stunt that is likely to distract, startle, endanger or interfere with pedestrians, vehicles or other street users.
  • Indicate your intentions - When changing lanes or turning at intersections, use the appropriate hand signals, then move to the appropriate lane ahead of time to turn safely.
  • Control your bicycle - Sit on your bicycle seat and keep at least one hand on your handlebars at all times.
  • Respect the bicycle’s design - Only carry the number of persons at one time that the bicycle is designed and equipped for.
  • Carry cargo safely - If you’re transporting cargo such as groceries ensure that the items don’t obstruct your view or interfere with your ability to safely operate your bicycle.
  • Respect lane widths - When riding on the street, no more than two bicycles can ride beside one another except when passing.
  • Obey traffic controls - Watch for and obey signs and pavement markings. Dismount and walk your bike if signs or pavement markings indicate that cycling is not allowed.

Shared-use Paths

When cycling on a shared-use path:

  • Ride your bicycle at a moderate rate of speed and be courteous toward other path users.
  • Pedestrians have the right of way, yield to them at all times.
  • Ride your bicycle to the right of the centre of the shared-use path except when passing a pedestrian or other path user.
  • When you’re about to pass another pathway user, use your horn or a bell a reasonable amount of time before passing.
  • Pay attention to and comply with all traffic signs.

Permitted Places to Ride
  • When riding on a street, pathway, or designated cycling facility, travel in the designated direction of travel. For example, in one-way protected bike lanes or raised cycle tracks be sure to travel in the same direction as traffic.
  • When riding on a street with a dedicated cycling facility – such as a painted bike lane, protected bike lane, or shared-use path – you may choose to ride on the street with traffic or in the cycling facility.
  • If you’re 14 and over, you may only ride on sidewalks for a bridge crossing or sidewalks that are designated as a shared-use path by a traffic sign.
  • When operating a bicycle on a bridge where cycling is permitted (see Schedule A in the Bicycle Bylaw for restricted cycling routes), you may use either the motor vehicle travel lane or the sidewalk portion of the bridge.
  • Cycling isn’t permitted on all streets, you can find a map and list of restricted streets in Schedule A of the Bicycle Bylaw.

When Driving
  • Driving, stopping and parking are not permitted in designated cycling facilities, unless operating a bicycle. Where the cycling facility pavement marking is dashed, drivers may merge into the cycling facility to make a turn when safe to do so. When the cycling facility is located between the travel lane and the parking lane, drivers may cross to park when it is safe to do so.
  • When passing a bicycle while driving on a street with one driving lane in the direction of travel, drivers must leave a distance of at least one metre between a person riding a bicycle and their vehicle and maintain that distance until safely past the bicycle. The one metre distance is measured between the extreme right side of the vehicle and the extreme left side of the bicycle, including all projections and attachments.

Cyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as a driver of a motor vehicle, including being legally allowed to ride in the centre of any traffic lane. When a cyclist dismounts, they have the same rights and responsibilities as a pedestrian.