PEI

4 rules of the road for P.E.I. cyclists

Charlottetown police have cracked down on cyclists not wearing helmets this summer, but they're also reminding bike riders they can be fined for other offences as well.

Police have issued more than 150 tickets to cyclists not wearing a helmet, but they're not the only offenders

This cyclist is following the rules — wearing a helmet and staying to the right of the road — as she pedals up Queen Street in Charlottetown. (Shane Ross/CBC)

Charlottetown police have cracked down on cyclists not wearing helmets this summer, but they're also reminding bike riders they can be fined for other offences as well.

More than 150 cyclists have been ticketed so far this year, said Cpl. Dean Field. Fewer than 10 were ticketed last summer.

The tickets carry a fine of $276, but Field said that can be waived if the offender attends a seminar on bicycle safety Sept. 17 to 18.

Adults are the worst offenders, Field said.

"Younger people actually seem to be educated about it," he said.

Police are also reminding cyclists that they're subject to the same rules of the road as cars. That means stopping at stop signs, signalling at turns and going the speed limit.

Besides wearing a helmet — with a chin strap fastened — here are some other rules to remember when when riding your bicycle.

1. Don't pass cars on the inside

Would you butt in line at the movie theatre? Then don't do it on the road.

This often happens when cars are stopped at a stop sign or red light. Cyclists are supposed to be in line with the traffic, toward the right-hand curb to allow motorists to pass.

It's also difficult for motorists to see you when you're passing them on the inside, and they could accidentally hit you if they make a right-hand turn.

2. Don't drive on the sidewalk

In Charlottetown, the sidewalk may sometimes seem like the safest place to ride, but it's still illegal and you could get fined. Plus it annoys pedestrians to no end.

It's illegal to ride your bike on the sidewalk.

3. Don't ride with no hands

This is actually in P.E.I.'s Highway Traffic Act, section 194.2 (d): "A person who is riding a bicycle shall keep at least one hand on the handle bars."

Don't say you weren't warned.

4. Don't drink and pedal

You're going to have a few drinks, so you leave your car home. Good. But you take your bike instead? Bad. Take a cab. Or, if you insist on two wheels, a rickshaw.

If you're planning to drink, leave your bike at home. (CBC)

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