Rules of the Road

Laws and Bylaws

Cyclists and cycling in Regina is governed under Part VIII of City of Regina [Bylaw No. 9900]. Item 81 of the bylaw states that “every cyclist shall operate a bicycle in accordance with the applicable rules of the road as set out in The Traffic Safety Act” of Saskatchewan.

This means that all cyclists are considered “vehicles” on public roads and are required to follow the same rules of the road and laws that cars do.

Dos and Don’ts

There are many good resources that are available to you online that will be able to offer guidance on how to successfully navigate public roads on your bike. Bike Calgary’s [Cycling Safety Handbook] is one such excellent resource. While it may quote and refer to legislation applicable only to cyclists in Alberta and Calgary, the general tips that are provided are transferable and should apply to all cyclists throughout the country.

Some dos and don’ts for commuter cycling include:

DO:

  • Plan ahead to avoid busy arterials and dangerous intersections if possible

  • Keep a straight line and ride with traffic on the right side of the road

  • Use hand signals to indicate turns and lane changes

  • Respect all traffic signals: stop at all stop signs and red lights

  • Mind the door zone: ride at least one metre from parked cars

  • If the lane is too narrow to share with passing vehicles, take the entire lane to yourself

  • Equip your bike with a front white light and a rear red light for cycling before sunrise and after sunset or in conditions of reduced visibility

  • Equip your bike with an audible bell that can be rung to warn multi-use pathway users of your presence and intention to overtake

  • Be courteous and respectful of other vehicles and cyclists: commuting by bike should be fun! It’s not an olympic sport.

DON’T:

  • Don’t ride on the sidewalks or “salmon” (riding on the wrong side of the road, against traffic)

  • Don’t ride in pedestrian crosswalks

  • Don’t weave in and out of parked cars in the parking lane

  • Don’t pass cars on the right, especially right-turning vehicles at intersections.

In general, be visible, be predictable, and communicate your intentions!

Where is the best place to ride?

The accepted rule for cycling with traffic is that bikes should ride as far to the right as practicable; meaning you should be as far to the right as can reasonably and safely be accomplished under the conditions. Sometimes this means taking the entire lane to yourself, particularly if the lane is too narrow for cars to safely overtake you, or if there are hazards in the right side of the lane (glass, potholes, sewer grates, etc.).

Taking the entire lane can be the safest option even if there are no hazards to avoid. Being in the middle of the lane makes you more visible to vehicles behind you and oncoming traffic in front of you, and discourages dangerous passing.

Avoid riding in the blindspots of cars that are in lanes beside you. Always position yourself so that you are able to see and be seen by the driver. For larger vehicles and trucks, always make sure you are able to see the driver in their side-view mirrors.

Intersection positioning

As intersections are where most collisions occur, proper positioning is the key to safe navigation through them. Establish your lane position early and approach the intersection in the same position you will be in when exiting the intersection. This is an important indicator to other road users about your intentions.

For example, if you are going straight through an intersection, take the entire right lane; don’t approach the curb and rest your right foot on it at a red light as this may encourage right-turning vehicles to turn around you dangerously.

As with riding in traffic, avoid positioning yourself at intersections where you are in the blindspot of vehicles beside you.

What do I wear?

Contrary to popular belief, commuter cycling is not only for the die-hard cyclist who is up to date on the latest and greatest technical cycling apparel. One of the most common questions is “what do I wear on my bike ride to and from work?” Our answer is always an unequivocal “dress in whatever makes you the most comfortable.”

Dressing in spandex and goretex is not required! Simply dress comfortably and for the weather. You may choose to wear “sportier” items like lycra base layers and technical wicking fabrics should you desire, but many commuter cyclists get along fine with jeans or khaki pants and a button-down shirt in the summer, and cotton shirts and wool sweaters and jackets in the colder months. If you are concerned with sweating through your clothes, simply roll up a change of clothes and carry it with you to work in your backpack or pannier. Remember to bring other essentials like makeup and hair products. Consult [Environment Canada] or [the weather network] so that you know what the weather will be like for the day. If rain is expected, remember to bring a rain jacket.

Other tips and resources

How to bike in the City