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Old 09-28-07, 09:49 PM   #1
Zero_Enigma
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Ontario: Cycling skills & Legal responsiblities

Man what a crap a++ day it was. I just bought a new 2007 Jeep and less then 15mins old and a block from the dealership first time driving it off the lot a left turn driver comes into my lane during rush hour and now I've got like $3000 of damage. Thankfully it was low 35-40kph impact but I'm still cheezed. Yes the other people are not hurt. I checked on them and no one is physically injured on both sides thankfully.

Well I just got home and started looking up some info on the left turn bit and while searching I found this section on the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario (MTO) page on cycling.

http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/pub...lingskills.htm This link tells you of the rules and laws of the road in Ontario.

Man what a pissy day it was.
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Old 09-28-07, 11:11 PM   #2
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I think I would've freaked out and killed the other driver if that happened to me. Glad you're ok.
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Old 09-29-07, 12:36 AM   #3
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Man what a crap a++ day it was. I just bought a new 2007 Jeep and less then 15mins old and a block from the dealership first time driving it off the lot a left turn driver comes into my lane during rush hour and now I've got like $3000 of damage. Thankfully it was low 35-40kph impact but I'm still cheezed. Yes the other people are not hurt. I checked on them and no one is physically injured on both sides thankfully.

Well I just got home and started looking up some info on the left turn bit and while searching I found this section on the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario (MTO) page on cycling.

http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/pub...lingskills.htm This link tells you of the rules and laws of the road in Ontario.

Man what a pissy day it was.
Sorry to hear about that bro, Zero Enigma. The worst happen to the best of people.

e.g. Anne Frank, Mahatmas Ghandi, Princess Diana,...
Look on the bright side, you are healthy and able bodied and are fully capable of generating funds and cash and money 100X what you lost in damages.
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Old 09-29-07, 06:42 PM   #4
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Sorry to hear about your accident.

I read the document at the link you mentioned. I found it full of misinformation and bad advice.

For instance:
Quote:
Because of the special nature of the bicycle, there are two rules of the road to which cyclists must pay special attention.

slower traffic stays right.
slower traffic must give way to faster traffic when safe and practical.
There is no "rule of the road" that slower traffic gives way to faster traffic. The law everywhere in North America is that passing safely is the responsibility of the passing driver. That's auto-centric wishful thinking on the part of the author.

They then go on to say:
Quote:
cyclists should ride close to the right hand edge of the road without a curb, or about one metre from a curb, when it is safe to do so, unless they are turning left or going faster than other vehicles.
Lane position is highly controversial, just spend a few seconds in the Advocacy & Safety forum and your head will spin. The blanket recommendation of "one metre from a curb" without any regard for the context is irresponsible and has no basis in the law. Again, this is auto-centric wishful thinking, the belief that every road has some magic "other" space that cyclists really should be using instead of impeding motorists.

Finally, in the section on taking the lane:
Quote:
On high-speed roads, it is not safe to take the whole lane.
More wishful thinking, that shows a complete lack of understanding of how to ride a bicycle in traffic, and what the law says about how cyclists may use the roadway.
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Old 09-29-07, 06:52 PM   #5
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So why a jeep anyhow? That's like one of the worst for fuel economy.
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Old 09-29-07, 07:24 PM   #6
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Some people don't buy cars for fuel economy. Some of us own Jeeps for getting far into the wilderness where a car can't go. Or for going to the top of some mountain up a rock strewn gorge.
Personally I'm don't like packing 70lbs of gear in and out of a campsite and only going so far. FWIW, my jeep in it's lifted/regeared/big tired state gets about 12-15mpg. I own a civic for fuel economy, the jeep usually just sits.
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Old 09-30-07, 04:36 PM   #7
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Some people don't buy cars for fuel economy. Some of us own Jeeps for getting far into the wilderness where a car can't go. Or for going to the top of some mountain up a rock strewn gorge.
Personally I'm don't like packing 70lbs of gear in and out of a campsite and only going so far. FWIW, my jeep in it's lifted/regeared/big tired state gets about 12-15mpg. I own a civic for fuel economy, the jeep usually just sits.
Same here. We have two cars and the one is a all-terrain (jeep) while the other is more road only. The Escort gets good fuel economy. I ride 90% by choice. Our winters are sometimes either bad or mild and I do prefer the jeep in the winter for the 4x4 usefulness and stability. Also because when I get off the road I can pretty much go anywhere I want as the above poster pretty much stated. Dunno... think Road Warrior (the movie) and you'll know where I'm going with the jeep if it gets that bad. I've yet to mount or make a gun turret (time and money ) should it come to such a state.
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Old 09-30-07, 04:38 PM   #8
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DC,

Dunno that could just be for Ontario only.
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Old 09-30-07, 05:13 PM   #9
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DC,

Dunno that could just be for Ontario only.
Go read the Highway Traffic Act. None of the things mentioned have any basis there.

This is not atypical for a government publication. Some bureaucrat writes what he wishes the law were, rather than what it actually is.
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Old 09-30-07, 05:45 PM   #10
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Go read the Highway Traffic Act. None of the things mentioned have any basis there.

This is not atypical for a government publication. Some bureaucrat writes what he wishes the law were, rather than what it actually is.
I dunno. 147(1) and 148(6) seem to be very clear on this subject. Saying that "None of the things mentioned have any basis there" shows that you haven't gone through the Act yourself.
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Old 09-30-07, 07:15 PM   #11
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I dunno. 147(1) and 148(6) seem to be very clear on this subject. Saying that "None of the things mentioned have any basis there" shows that you haven't gone through the Act yourself.
We discussed the HTA over in A&S two years ago. Here's a link to the thread:
Canadians using the entire lane

Here's what 147.1 says:
Quote:
Any vehicle travelling upon a roadway at less than the normal speed of traffic at that time and place shall, where practicable, be driven in the right-hand lane then available for traffic or as close as practicable to the right hand curb or edge of the roadway
Nowhere in 147.1 does it say that slower traffic has to yield to faster traffic. All it says is that you have the choice of either using the right lane or riding against the curb if you are slower than prevailing traffic.

Here's what 148.6 says:
Quote:
Every person on a bicycle or motor assisted bicycle who is overtaken by a vehicle or equestrian travelling at a greater speed shall turn out to the right and allow the vehicle or equestrian to pass and the vehicle or equestrian overtaking shall turn out to the left so far as may be necessary to avoid a collision.
On the surface, it sounds like cyclists have a duty to get out of the way of cars. But lets look at what "turn out" means. 148.1 says:
Quote:
Every person in charge of a vehicle on a highway meeting another vehicle shall turn out to the right from the centre of the roadway, allowing the other vehicle one-half of the roadway free.
148.2 says
Quote:
Every person in charge of a vehicle or on horseback on a highway who is overtaken by a vehicle or equestrian travelling at a greater speed shall turn out to the right and allow the overtaking vehicle or equestrian to pass
148.5 says
Quote:
Every person in charge of a vehicle or on horseback on a highway who is overtaking another vehicle or equestrian shall turn out to the left so far as may be necessary to avoid a collision with the vehicle or equestrian overtaken, and the person overtaken is not required to leave more than one-half of the roadway free.
Every vehicle being passed has the obligation to "turn out to the right"; bicycles just get their own code section because they were left out of the original section, section 2. There is no special duty on the part of cyclists to get out of the way of motor vehicles. Section 5, "the person overtaken is not required to leave more than one-half of the roadway free" is the limit of the duty of cyclists to move over, same as it is for all traffic.

Show me where the HTA says that you have to ride a meter from the curb, or that taking the lane is prohibited on high-speed roads.

I stand by my statment: None of the things mentioned have any basis in the HTA.
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Old 10-01-07, 05:40 AM   #12
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^^ Great post. I'm going to have to memorize 148.5. It would keep me away from the crappy cracked pavement along the side of most roads.
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Old 10-01-07, 07:56 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by W. J. Lucas, M.D., C.C.F.P. Regional Coroner for Toronto, 1998

Section 148(6) Bicycles Overtaken

Every person on a bicycle or a motor assisted bicycle who is overtaken by a vehicle or an equestrian traveling at a greater speed shall turn out to the right......


The theory of safe cycling proposes that every person who is in charge of a bicycle on a highway is a vehicle and should operate their vehicle as would the driver of a car, motorcycle or truck etc. CAN-BIKE Cyclist Training teaches cyclists to travel a straight line to be visible and predictable. This regulation re-enforces the negative idea that cyclists should "get out of the way". Section 148(6), should therefore be omitted from the Act as the contents of Section 148(5) appear to cover the issue.
Of course, this recommendation is almost ten years old, and where has it gone?

http://www.toronto.ca/cycling/coroner_appendix.htm
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Old 10-01-07, 11:19 AM   #14
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From the Ontarion rules: "slower traffic stays right. slower traffic must give way to faster traffic when safe and practical. "

DCCommuter:
Quote:
There is no "rule of the road" that slower traffic gives way to faster traffic.
INCORRECT. "New Jersey law prohibits blocking traffic through slow driving." (http://www.state.nj.us/mvc/pdf/Licen.../Chapter_4.pdf)
I suspect that this is the same for all states. Keep in mind that a bicycle is just a vehicle.


DCCommuter:
Quote:
The law everywhere in North America is that passing safely is the responsibility of the passing driver.
This does not contradict the rule that "slow vehicles can't block traffic". The Ontario "rules' indicate "when it is safe to do so" (as is typical and understood).

------------

Bicycles do not have the right to hold up traffic nor do they have an requirement to ride where it is unsafe.

Last edited by njkayaker; 10-01-07 at 11:31 AM.
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Old 10-01-07, 01:24 PM   #15
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Bicycles do not have the right to hold up traffic nor do they have an requirement to ride where it is unsafe.
This is where I disagree. Nobody has the right to hold up traffic unnecessarily. However, if you have the right to use a road, you have the right to use that road. You don't lose that right if someone else comes along who wants to go faster than you do. If the only way you can use that road is to make someone else wait, then they have to wait. Cars make other cars wait all the time. At least, that's what the law says. How you choose to ride is up to you.

If you look up the New Jersey law (39:4-97.1.) it only applies to motor vehicles, and it only applies to unnecessarily impeding traffic.
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Old 10-01-07, 04:27 PM   #16
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This is where I disagree. Nobody has the right to hold up traffic unnecessarily. However, if you have the right to use a road, you have the right to use that road. You don't lose that right if someone else comes along who wants to go faster than you do. If the only way you can use that road is to make someone else wait, then they have to wait. Cars make other cars wait all the time. At least, that's what the law says. How you choose to ride is up to you.

If you look up the New Jersey law (39:4-97.1.) it only applies to motor vehicles, and it only applies to unnecessarily impeding traffic.
INCORRECT!

If you can move to the side of the road safely, and you are impeding traffic, you are obviously impeding traffic "unnecessarily"!

You can't drive anyway you want nor can you ride anyway you want. Those bumper stickers say "Share the road" for a reason!

http://www.state.nj.us/transportatio...gulations.shtm

39:4-14.1 Rights and Duties of Persons on Bicycles.
Every person riding a bicycle on a roadway is granted all the rights and subject to all of the duties of the motor vehicle driver.

39:4-14.2, 39:4-10.11 Operating Regulations.
Every person riding a bicycle on a roadway shall ride as near to the right roadside as practicable exercising due care when passing a standing vehicle or one proceeding in the same direction. A bicyclist may move left under any of the following conditions: 1) To make a left turn from a left turn lane or pocket; 2) To avoid debris, drains, or other hazardous conditions on the right; 3) To pass a slower moving vehicle; 4) To occupy any available lane when traveling at the same speed as other traffic; 5) To travel no more than two abreast when traffic is not impeded, but otherwise ride in single file. Every person riding a bicycle should ride in the same direction as vehicular traffic.
In New Jersey, the law states a bicyclist must obey all state and local automobile driving laws. A parent may be held responsible for the child’s violation of any traffic law.

Note also that you can occupy a lane "when traveling at the same speed as other traffic".

Likewise in DC:

http://ddot.dc.gov/ddot/frames.asp?d...18_dcmr_12.pdf

(b) Except as provided in paragraph (c) of this subsection and in subsection 2202.9 of this title, any person operating a bicycle upon a roadway at less than the normal speed of traffic at the time and place and under the conditions then existing shall travel as closely as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway, or as closely as practicable to the left-hand curb or edge of the roadway when on a one-way street.

Last edited by njkayaker; 10-01-07 at 04:53 PM.
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Old 10-01-07, 06:58 PM   #17
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39:4-14.1 Rights and Duties of Persons on Bicycles.
Every person riding a bicycle on a roadway is granted all the rights and subject to all of the duties of the motor vehicle driver.
You're relying on paraphrasing of the law written by wishful-thinking bureaucrats.

If you look here, you can see 39:4-14 in its entirety:

http://lis.njleg.state.nj.us/cgi-bin...TOC_Frame_Pg42
Quote:
Every person riding a bicycle upon a roadway shall be granted all of the rights and shall be subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle by chapter four of Title 39 of the Revised Statutes and all supplements thereto except as to those provisions thereof which by their nature can have no application.

Regulations applicable to bicycles shall apply whenever a bicycle is operated upon any highway or upon any path set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles subject to those exceptions stated herein.
Notice that the first paragraph says "vehicle" not "motor vehicle." Under NJ law, they are two separate things, and the obstructing traffic part of the code specifies "motor vehicles." Also, what the second paragraph means is that if there is a bicycle-specific part of the code that takes priority over the general vehicle code. In fact, there is a bicycle-specific part of the code for bicycles moving slower than the prevailing speed of traffic, it's 39:4-14.2.

However, the paraphrasing of 39:4-14.2 that you quote is incorrect as well.

Quote:
39:4-14.2, 39:4-10.11 Operating Regulations.
Every person riding a bicycle on a roadway shall ride as near to the right roadside as practicable ...
Here's what it really says:
Quote:
Every person operating a bicycle upon a roadway shall ride as near to the right side of the roadway as practicable ...
Note that it does not say "roadside" as in your paraphrased quote, but "roadway." It's an important distinction. The "roadway" is the traveled portion of the road; i.e., the travel lanes.

Under NJ law, the only obligation of a cyclist when moving slower than prevailing traffic is to ride in the right part of the right lane.

Again, I'm only talking legal obligation here. I'm in no way advocating unnecessarily blocking traffic. I just feel that bureaucrats do a grave disservice to cyclists when they misrepresent to the general public what the laws are regarding cycling.
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Old 10-02-07, 12:40 PM   #18
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Note that it does not say "roadside" as in your paraphrased quote, but "roadway." It's an important distinction. The "roadway" is the traveled portion of the road; i.e., the travel lanes.
Note that the paraprase says "near to the right roadside". This implies "in the roadway". There is no fundamental difference in meaning but the latter phrasing is more clear.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DCCommuter View Post
Under NJ law, the only obligation of a cyclist when moving slower than prevailing traffic is to ride in the right part of the right lane.
That's my understanding.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DCCommuter View Post
obstructing traffic part of the code specifies "motor vehicles."
Do you think that any reasonable interpretation of the law would allow bicycles to obstruct traffic?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DCCommuter View Post
In fact, there is a bicycle-specific part of the code for bicycles moving slower than the prevailing speed of traffic, it's 39:4-14.2.
That is incorrect. It only indicates what is allowed when "traveling at the same speed as other traffic". What is unspecified in that section is governed by other laws.

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