Cyclists can now use pedestrian signal instead of waiting for green light

Cyclists can now cycle on the pedestrian signal rather than wait for the green light, according to a new rule in the Highway Safety Code.

CAA Quebec reminds cyclists that pedestrians maintain priority

The changes to the Highway Safety Code come into effect April 18, 2019. (Elias Abboud/CBC)

Starting today, Quebec cyclists can cross intersections on the pedestrian walk signal rather than wait for the traffic light to turn green, but only after yielding to people on foot.

The change to the Highway Safety Code is designed to make cyclists more visible to cars. Since 2017, seven cyclists have died on Montreal roads in collisions with motor vehicles.

Vélo Québec program manager Magali Bebronne said overall, it's a move in the right direction, but wonders if there will be enough information disseminated about what the change means.

"It's important to stress here that pedestrians will have priority at all times and that cyclists will be required to yield or pedestrians," she said.

Spokesperson Annie Gauthier said that she's not sure cyclists know about the new rule or that pedestrians know that cyclists can now cross at their light.

"It could create new conflicts between those two road users," Gauthier said.

She said she believes the government needs to do more to inform people of the change. 

With files from Derek Marinos