Legislation changes protect Island cyclists

Cycling PEI's executive director Mike Connolly and events coordinator Patrick Cheverie (on bicycle) joined Economic Development and Tourism Minister Heath MacDonald and Transportation, Infrastructure and Energy Minister Paula Biggar

Cycling PEI Executive Director Mike Connolly says he welcomes amendments to the Highway Traffic Act that increase safety for Islanders and visitors who travel the province’s roads by bicycle.

Motorists must now stay at least one metre from a bicycle when passing. Also, a vehicle door must not be opened in a way that creates a hazard for road users.

“Cycling PEI has advocated for these changes since 2008 and we have been working closely with government since then to make these changes happen,” Connolly said. “We are delighted that this is finally happening and that TIE has the foresight to make this historic amendment to make the roads safer for Island cyclists.”

The provincial legislature approved the amendments on May 12. They also remove an old provision that required a vehicle to sound its horn when passing a cyclist.

“Our department promotes active transportation by developing off-road trails and widening roads to make it easier for users to share space safely,” Transportation, Infrastructure and Energy Minister Paula Biggar said. “This legislation will enhance the safety of all road users and make it clear that Island roads are intended for the use and enjoyment of a variety of travelers.”

In addition, the amendments also allow for future regulations governing bicycle safety and bicycle lanes.

“We all need to be more aware of other road users when driving” said Amanda Dean, vice – president -- Atlantic, of the Insurance Bureau of Canada. ‘These amendments will remind Islanders to ‘Share the Road’ to keep everyone safer whether driving or cycling. We all have our part to play, and IBC is very proud to support the changes that will help reduce injury and prevent future accidents.”

To see the full text of the new legislation, visit Bill 67.

Media contact:
Ron Ryder
Department of Transportation, Infrastructure and Energy 

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