With the change in time and shorter daylight hours, Halifax Regional Police encourages motorists and cyclists to work together to share our roadways for everyone’s safety.
For motorists, the basics of safe driving are even more crucial when driving in low light. Give yourself enough time and space, and drive to the conditions. Be aware that cyclists are less visible after dark and take additional time to check that your way is clear before proceeding through an intersection, particularly when turning right or left.
Cyclists should take steps to increase their visibility - a white headlight and a rear red light or reflector are mandatory for your bike when riding at night. You should also consider wearing reflective apparel or adding reflective elements, e.g. arm/leg bands and/or tape, to your cycling gear. Remember that motorists will have a harder time seeing you in low light conditions and exercise caution when changing lanes, making turns and at all intersections.
Road safety is a shared responsibility – motorists should treat cyclists as vehicles and provide them with the same rights as other motorists; cyclists must obey all road signs and traffic signals and should signal their intentions clearly before turning or stopping.
Additionally, motorists and cyclists must obey the following sections of the Nova Scotia Motor Vehicle Act (MVA):
- Allow one meter clearance when passing a cyclist. (S.171B (1))
- Not drive in bike lanes. (S.131A)
- Not park in bike lanes. (S.143 (2))
- Not drive on the sidewalk if either of your tires exceeds 350 mm in diameter. (S.171 (2))
- Ride in a bicycle lane where available. (S.171 (3))
- Ride in same direction as flow of traffic. (S.171 (5))
- Ride on the far right side of roadway or shoulder, in the same direction as traffic. (S.171 (4))
- Ride in single file. (S.171 (6))
- Wear a helmet. (S.170A (2))
- Equip your bike with lights, a bicycle is required to have a white front light visible from 100 metres and a red rear reflector or light visible from 60 metres. (S. 174(6))
- When operating their bicycle on the far right side or the right-hand shoulder of the roadway, you may pass to the right of a vehicle if it is safe to do so.
We ask that motorists and cyclists alike keep a watchful eye out for pedestrians. Cyclists are required to abide by the same laws as motorists with respect to pedestrians and crosswalks.