Safe Passing Bylaws: What's The Story In Your Town?
More and more municipalities are rolling out safe passing bylaws which require motorists to give cyclists an prescribed amount of clearance when being passed. So, that rush of air that feels like it's trying to suck you under the car's wheels should be a thing of the past. Different cities have enacted safe passing bylaws at various times and some haven't. As well, there can be differences between municipalities in the details. Before you hit the roads this season, make sure you find out what the current bylaw is in your town.
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
I am in Edmonton so I can speak to the current bylaw here. And the City of Edmonton partnered with Parkland County when updating these bylaws a few years ago so this applies to Spruce Grove as well. First off, I'll share part this from the City's website as I'm sure most of us can agree on the sentiment:
Everyone should feel safe biking, walking, and rolling around Edmonton, and we can each take action to help keep each other safe.
I know, right? I wish it were as simple as simply putting it in writing. Unfortunately, getting the word out and getting drivers to agree and to act accordingly is a not so simple.
So, what is the law here? Edmonton’s Safe Passing Distance Bylaw provides clear guidance for how much room people driving need to leave to safely pass people biking on the street. To make it as clear as possible, I haven't summarized it. I have copied and pasted this directly from the City website:
Edmonton's Safe Passing Distance Bylaw provides clear guidance for how much room people driving need to leave to safely pass people biking on the street. Passing at a safe distance helps make sure everyone gets to their destination incident-free.
Four things to keep in mind when passing people cycling and scooting on the street:
Pass safe, leave space; leave 1 metre between you and the person biking where the speed limit is 60 km/h or less, and 1.5 metres where the speed limit is greater than 60 km/h
You may cross the solid yellow line, when safe, to give the required space
People biking or scooting on the street may be riding in the middle of the lane to avoid obstacles and debris close to the curb
Wait until it’s safe to pass, it won’t add much time to your trip.
We are happy to share info on the bylaws in place in other municipalities. Please forward and I will post!