Bike Safety - Manitoba Public Insurance

Bike Safety - Manitoba Public Insurance
Bike Safely
• Important safety gear
• Sharing the road
• Common traffic situations
Thank you to all contributors
The information in this brochure was produced in collaboration with
representatives from Bike Winnipeg, Manitoba Cycling Association,
the Manitoba Government and the City of Winnipeg. We are grateful to
these organizations for working with us to develop information useful to both
novice and experienced cyclists, as well as to the motorists sharing the road.
Note: Throughout this brochure recommendations are provided on how cyclists should
position themselves on the road to be visible and predictable. These recommendations are
from cycling advocacy groups who contributed to the development of this document.
The Highway Traffic Act is the legislation that governs the rights and responsibilities
of cyclists when riding on the road. The Highway Traffic Act indicates that cyclists
should position themselves as close as practicable to the right side of the road. As close as
practicable is not specifically defined in the Act and as such, cyclists should exercise good
judgment when determining their positioning. Factors to consider include traffic volume,
road conditions, weather hazards and municipal lane restrictions.
As our cycling community
grows in numbers, so does
the need for increased
awareness of road safety.
Whether you’re
a cyclist or
motorist, road
safety is everyone’s
responsibility. Together, we can all
work to stay safe, have fun and build
a healthier province.
Table of contents
Why cycle?
Equipment and safety gear
Lights and reflectors
Safety clothing and accessories
ABC Quick Check
Basic cycling skills
Cycling in a straight line
Balance while signalling
Shoulder checking
Guidelines to staying safe
Riding with children
Cycling in traffic
Cyclist and motorist
Bicycle/vehicle collisions
Did you know?
Common collisions
Dangers of riding on sidewalks
Large vehicles
Common traffic situations
Destination positioning
Cycling infrastructure
Diamond lanes
Bike lanes
What to do if you’re
in a collision
For more information
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Why cycle?
Cycling is fun: Riding your bicycle is an inexpensive and enjoyable way to get
out, be active and enjoy your natural surroundings with family and friends. It also
provides the independence of using your own power.
Cycling is healthy: Incorporating exercise into your lifestyle
has many health benefits — it can strengthen your
immune system, lower blood pressure and cholesterol,
reduce stress, strengthen your heart and increase
your energy level. Cycling is also easy on your joints
and can be done at any level of intensity. This makes it
a great activity for people of all ages and fitness levels.
Cycling is practical and cost-effective: There are no
gas tanks to fill and parking is free. Cycling is often
just as fast as a vehicle or bus in city traffic.
Cycling is good for the environment:
Cycling produces no air pollution,
greenhouse gas or noise.
It also reduces traffic
congestion, deterioration
of road surfaces and land
requirements for roads and
parking lots.
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Equipment and safety gear
Falling off your bicycle can result in serious head trauma and even the most
experienced riders are at risk of a collision. A properly fitted and safety
certified helmet is the single most effective way to prevent head injury
resulting from a bicycle crash.
Bike helmet legislation
Under Manitoba law, it’s compulsory for anyone
under 18 years old to wear a properly fitted
and fastened helmet when cycling. It’s also
the smart thing to do — according to recent
statistics, approximately 60 per cent of
cyclists injured, and almost 95 per cent of
cyclists killed, in collisions with a vehicle were
not wearing a helmet.*
The law also applies to children when they
are passengers on a bicycle or are riding on/in
anything attached to or towed by a bicycle. Helmets
must be certified by standards such as the Snell Memorial
Foundation, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) or the American
Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). Always check the label.
Parents or guardians are responsible for making sure children wear a bicycle
helmet. If a parent or guardian knowingly allows their child under the age of
14 to ride without a bicycle helmet, they can be ticketed under The Highway
Traffic Act. Teenagers between the ages of 14 and 18 can be fined directly.
Adults are encouraged to be a role model for children and wear a helmet every
time they cycle.
Choose a helmet that:
• is certified by a recognized safety standards organization
• is well-ventilated
• is colourful so it’s easily visible
• fits snugly even with the chin strap undone
*Source: Traffic Accident Report Database, 2011–2015
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How to ensure your helmet fits right:
Follow the 2V1 rule...
“2” fingers above
your eyebrows
Straps form a “V”
under your ears
“1” finger between
strap and chin
Final check
Make sure the helmet doesn’t wobble or fall off when you nod “yes” or shake “no”,
even when the straps are undone.
Replace your helmet when:
• it has a cracked, deteriorated or damaged shell
• it has significantly faded as the plastic portion has likely become brittle
• the foam liner is cracked or has areas that seem thinner
• it has damaged or missing straps, buckles or a rear stabilizer
• you’ve been in a collision while wearing it
Lights and reflectors
You’re required by law to have a
white light on the front of your bike
and a red or amber light or reflector
on the rear.
For added protection, a blinking
LED light on the rear of your bike can
greatly increase your visibility to
other road users.
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Safety clothing and accessories
Increase your visibility and be safer on the road.
Safety glasses or sunglasses
reduce glare and protect
your eyes from flying
debris and dust.
Wear brightly coloured,
highly contrasting clothes
with reflective material or
a high visibility safety vest.
A mirror allows you to
see traffic in the lane
beside you. It does not
replace the need for
shoulder checking
before moving over or
changing lanes.
Reflective bands
on your wrists will
make hand signals
more visible.
A bike panier is a
safer way to carry
cargo than a
It lowers
your centre
of gravity,
The constant motion
of reflective ankle straps
improves your visibility
to other road users.
Gloves increase your grip,
especially in wet weather,
and protect your hands if you
fall. Gloves can also make
your ride more comfortable.
A bell is an important
tool to alert others
of your presence.
It can also help
prevent surprising or
alarming situations.
A tool kit/pump is a necessity for longer road trips and useful
around town in case of minor repairs. A basic tool kit includes:
tire levers, spare tire tube, patch kit, pump, screwdriver and
multi-purpose tools for adjusting a variety of nuts and bolts.
Cycling at night
Cycling at night and dawn and dusk can be
especially dangerous because of reduced visibility.
In addition to the safety items recommended
above, make sure that your bike is equipped
with wheel reflectors which increase
your visibility to motorists approaching
from the side.
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ABC Quick Check
Before you hit the road, do the ABC Quick Check to ensure your bicycle is
safe to ride. It’s a good habit to get into and this short version takes less than
a minute to do. For the full version visit
A = Air
Check that both tires are fully inflated.
Low pressure tires will require you to work
much harder and increase your chance of
getting a flat.
B = Brakes
Make sure both brake levers don’t pull all the
way back to the handlebars. You should be able
to slide your hand between the lever and hand grip.
With both brakes engaged, rock your bike back and forth
checking for any loose steering components. Steering should be
tight and handlebars aligned properly with the front wheel.
C = Chain
Check the chain to ensure it is well lubricated, clean and
running smoothly.
If you have quick releases on your
wheels and seat, make sure
they’re tight and aren’t easy
to open.
Pick your bike up about
10 cm (3–4 in.) off the ground
and drop it. Did anything rattle
or fall off?
Note: If you discover any problems during this
check, take your bicycle to a bike mechanic
or complete the repairs as soon as possible.
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Basic cycling skills
There are some basic cycling skills that you should master before riding in traffic.
Practice these skills in a parking lot or on a quiet residential street so you can
build confidence and avoid potential dangers on the road.
Cycling in a straight line
Being able to ride in a straight line under varying conditions is one of the keys
to riding safely in traffic. When riding, you should always keep your head up and
your eyes focused on the road. This will help you maintain a straight line while
staying aware of conditions ahead of you.
Balance while signalling
Signalling requires you to ride with just one hand
while maintaining a straight line. Practice riding
in a straight line while signalling to the left
and right.
Shoulder checking
Shoulder checking can cause you to move in
the direction that your head is turned, so make
shoulder checks quickly and get your eyes back on
the road ahead of you.
When riding in traffic, you should be able to stop as quickly as possible in a
safe manner. On a bicycle with hand brakes, the front brake accounts for up to
80 per cent of the stopping power during an abrupt stop. This is because your
body naturally moves forward and puts most of your weight over the front wheel.
To stop quickly and safely, shift your weight toward the rear and try to keep your
centre of gravity low. This will allow you to maximize the rear brakes without
skidding. At the same time, progressively increase the braking in the front, being
careful not to shift your weight forward.
In a safe area, practice stopping as quickly as possible so you can get a feel for
how much pressure you can apply to each brake. Start at a slow speed and as you
get more comfortable, try stopping at faster speeds.
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Hand signals are a cyclist’s version of a vehicle’s turn signals and brake lights.
To inform other road users of your intentions you should:
• Signal well ahead of the turn and put both hands back on the handlebars before
you make a turn or change lanes.
• If you’re waiting at an intersection for other vehicles to clear, signal again before
starting up to alert any vehicles arriving after you.
• Always make sure hand signals are specific and clear. Extend your arm fully and
point your hand in the direction you’re going.
The proper signalling sequence is:
1. Shoulder check — is it safe to put your hand out?
2. Make your hand signal.
3. Shoulder check again to make sure
it is safe to change lanes or turn.
4. Complete your turn.
Turning left
Turning right
Moving within
your lane
Moving within your lane
When you don’t need to change lanes, but want
to move over in your current lane, do not use a
normal turn signal. This could confuse other road
users as they may think you intend to change lanes
or turn. Instead, there is a hand signal to tell other
road users you’re moving over within the lane to
position yourself for a turn, pass parked vehicles or
take the lane at an intersection. To do this, shoulder
check and then point over and down to the position
where you plan to go.
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Guidelines to staying safe
• Don’t ride impaired. Skills such as visual sharpness, reaction time, judgment
and general awareness are critical to a cyclist. These skills are greatly hindered
by alcohol and may impair your ability to ride safely. Many prescription or
over-the-counter drugs can also affect your riding skills. Read all warning labels
and understand the effects these drugs may have on your ability to ride safely.
• Don’t ride distracted:
– Don’t use any electronic devices including hand-held cellphones.
– Don’t wear headphones as they can obstruct your hearing.
– Don’t eat or drink.
• Don’t take unnecessary risks by riding with one hand or riding aggressively.
• When riding with other cyclists, don’t ride side-by-side. Ride in single file.
• Don’t ride double unless you’re carrying a child in an approved carrier or using
a tandem bike or trailer-cycle.
Riding with children
You should always exercise an abundance of care and caution when cycling with
young children in a carrier of any kind.
Bicycle child seats, which are mounted directly behind your bicycle seat, can alter
your bike’s centre of gravity and cause it to become unstable. Always ensure that
you are properly balanced and be mindful
that riding with a child is very different
than riding alone.
A safer option is to utilize a child bicycle
trailer, which is more stable, has a greater
capacity (it can carry up to two children
and provides room for bags or other
items) and provides protection from
inclement weather. Bicycle trailers
should always be equipped with a flag
so that fellow road users can see it easily.
And remember — children riding in a
bicycle trailer are required to wear
a helmet at all times.
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Cycling in traffic
The key to cycling safely in traffic is riding confidently and being aware of
your surroundings. Think and plan ahead. Observe the traffic around you and
anticipate dangers and what other road users may do.
There are several key factors that you must remember at all times when cycling:
• Alertness: Ride defensively and be alert at all times. You’re vulnerable and
any collision, no matter how small, is potentially serious.
• Manoeuvrability: You need room to manoeuvre while avoiding hazards that
exist along the road.
• Predictability: Motorists cannot read your mind.
Weaving in and out of parked vehicles or making
sudden changes in direction without signalling is
confusing. Choose the right position on the road
and communicate with motorists.
• Visibility: Being visible is about what you wear
and how you ride. Whether you’re riding at night
or during the day, wear bright, reflective clothing.
Always stay in the motorists’ field of vision.
• Communication: Appropriate signalling alerts other
road users of your intentions. Plan your manoeuvres early
and communicate all of them, including stopping.
Cyclist and motorist responsibilities
Cyclists have the same rights as motorists but also have the same responsibilities
and must follow the same rules. The following are known as the three Rs of
safe cycling:
• Same Roads: Vehicles and bicycles share the same roads.
• Same Rights: When on the road, cyclists have all the same rights and duties
as motorists and must obey all signs and traffic control devices.
• Same Rules: Other than the difference in a cyclist’s position on the road,
cyclists are expected to follow the same rules of the road as motorists.
By understanding and practicing the three Rs, you can help ensure your own
safety and, at the same time, help motorists understand your intentions.
Motorists should always follow the rules of the road and ensure that cyclists are
given the courtesy and space required to ride safely.
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Your responsibilities as a cyclist:
• Ride respectfully. The same traffic laws that apply to motorists also
apply to you.
• Use hand signals and eye contact to communicate your actions.
• Obey traffic control signals and signs.
• Ride in a straight line and do not weave between parked vehicles.
• Do not ride on the sidewalk.
• Ride single file when riding with other cyclists.
• Ride as closely as practicable* to the right-hand side of the road.
• Increase your visibility by wearing brightly coloured clothing.
• Use a white front light and a red or amber rear light.
*As close as practicable: The law requires traffic moving at less than the normal speed of traffic to keep
as close as practicable to the right hand curb or edge of the road. Although The Highway Traffic Act does
not define as close as practicable, experienced cyclists recommend riding approximately 1 m (3 ft.) away
from the curb. This will help you maintain a straight line while avoiding hazards such as potholes, wide
cracks, service covers, debris and puddles. Use your best judgment when determining how far away from
the curb to ride and when it may be necessary to move closer to the middle of the lane.
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Your responsibilities as a motorist:
• Reduce your speed when encountering cyclists.
• Leave a safe following distance should the cyclist need to stop suddenly.
• Recognize the hazards that cyclists may face and give them plenty of space.
There may be times when they must ride closer to the middle of the lane.
Be aware of where a cyclist is and anticipate their actions.
• Try not to use your horn. The sound of a vehicle horn can be very startling to
a cyclist.
• Be cautious and respectful.
• When turning left, watch for and yield to oncoming cyclists just as you would to
oncoming motorists.
• When turning right, yield to any cyclist travelling on your right. Do not try to
pass a cyclist if you’re planning to turn at the next intersection or driveway.
• Look for cyclists before opening vehicle doors.
• Children on bicycles can be unpredictable. Expect the unexpected and
slow down.
Passing a cyclist
Drivers should pass a cyclist only
when it is safe to do so. Cycling
advocacy groups suggest providing
at least one metre of clearance.
This may require drivers to change
lanes in order to pass safely. Extra
caution must be exercised and
additional space may be required
when passing cyclists in highway
travel situations.
1 metre
There are some situations where it is not safe to pass a cyclist including:
• in construction zones where traffic is reduced to one narrow lane
• in lanes with narrow widths that do not permit passing at a safe distance
• in a yield lane
Caution and additional space may be required when passing cyclists at high rates
of speed.
The Highway Traffic Act does not specify how close cyclists should ride near
the right edge of the roadway or the clearance drivers must give a cyclist when
travelling alongside or passing them. By using common sense and following the
rules of the road, cyclists and drivers can make streets safer for everyone.
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Always watch for potholes, gravel, glass, drainage grates, puddles and other
hazards. Remember to shoulder check and signal before moving over to
avoid hazards.
Road hazards
Weather hazards
Rain and snow make roads slippery, reduce visibility and cause your brakes to
work less effectively.
Remember to:
• Make sure your bike is equipped with a headlight and a rear light or reflectors.
Increase your visibility by wearing brightly coloured and reflective clothing.
• Leave yourself plenty of room to stop and manoeuvre.
• Slow down, especially when turning.
• Be prepared for sudden stops or swerves.
• Dry your brakes by feathering (applying them lightly) before slowing down
or stopping.
• Avoid puddles as potholes, broken glass or other hazards could be
hidden underneath.
• Use wider tires with lower air pressure to help maintain traction when
roads are slippery.
• Use studded tires in winter to maintain traction on snow and ice.
• Be aware that your bicycle may slide out from under you on ice.
• Watch for black ice on bridges, metal surfaces and brick roads.
• Dress in layers for winter riding to protect yourself from frostbite.
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Bicycle/vehicle collisions
Manitoba Public Insurance claim reports suggest that fault is often shared
between motorists and cyclists. There are many causes for bicycle and vehicle
collisions, such as not following the rules of the road, failing to yield the right
of way and motorists not seeing the cyclist or squeezing the cyclist to the edge
of the road.
To avoid collisions, all road users should continually scan the surroundings and
be aware of what’s going on all around them.
Did you know?*
In Manitoba:
• Each year on average four cyclists are killed and 140 are injured in collisions.
• Nearly 60 per cent of cyclists injured, and almost 95 per cent of cyclists killed,
in collisions with a vehicle were not wearing a helmet.
• Collisions with vehicles occur most frequently during heavy traffic times on
weekdays, with the majority occurring between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.
*Source: Traffic Accident Report Database, 2011–2015
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Common collisions
Collisions between cyclists and motorists can happen when:
A motorist makes a right turn
into the path of a cyclist travelling
through the intersection.
A motorist makes a left turn into
the path of an oncoming cyclist
travelling through the intersection.
A motorist makes a right turn across
the path of a cyclist continuing
straight through the intersection.
A cyclist is travelling illegally
on the sidewalk and crosses
an intersection.
Most common collisions
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Dangers of riding on sidewalks
It is illegal to ride on sidewalks unless the diameter of your rear wheel is
410 mm (16 in.) or less.
Several studies have concluded that cyclists on sidewalks face a far greater
collision risk than cyclists on the road. This is likely because motorists are
watching for pedestrians, not cyclists, and because of your faster speed,
you may suddenly appear and cross the road unexpectedly.
Riding on sidewalks also creates an unsafe environment for pedestrians.
Riding on the
sidewalk is illegal
Large vehicles
Drivers of large vehicles, such as buses, trucks and motor
homes, have large blind spots which prevent them
from seeing cyclists. To avoid a collision, don’t ride
in these blind spots and only pass slow-moving
vehicles on the left.
In urban areas, be sure to watch for large vehicles
turning right as they require more space than you
might expect. Drivers of these vehicles will often move
toward the left lane in preparation for a right turn. The
risk of a collision is highest when the cab has made
the turn, but the trailer has not. Never pass on the right unless you have
a lane to yourself and are positive the driver is not preparing for a right turn.
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Common traffic situations
Intersections are high-risk locations for cyclists and motorists. As a cyclist,
you need to be especially alert at intersections and, in particular, aware of
turning vehicles.
Stopping at intersections
When approaching an intersection where vehicles are slowing down or stopped
at a red light, it is best to line up with traffic and wait for the vehicles to begin
driving again before proceeding.
Passing on the right is not an option as it is illegal and very dangerous
(path 1). If you ride up on the right side of a vehicle, the motorist likely won’t
be able to see you when they begin to drive and they may make a right turn
across your path. This is called the “right hook”. Also, when stopped at an
intersection never put your foot on the curb as it encourages motorists to
squeeze up beside you.
At lights or stop signs, give yourself the space needed to manoeuvre when
starting up again because, regardless of experience, all cyclists move from side to
side as they begin riding. Experienced cyclists recommend moving closer to the
middle of the lane when stopping (path 2). This will maximize your visibility and
give you the space needed to start up. Once you have enough momentum
to maintain a straight line, shoulder check and move back to the right side.
Approaching and stopping
at intersections
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Because intersections can be dangerous for cyclists, there are a few other items
you should consider:
• Treat every driveway and back lane as an intersection and never assume that
the motorist sees you.
• Don’t enter an intersection on a yellow light. Traffic lights are timed for vehicles,
not bicycles, and you won’t have time to cross safely.
• At a four-way stop, the first road user to stop is the first to proceed.
Turning at intersections
Cyclists need to be proactive and should always plan turns in advance, especially
on multi-lane roads. Appropriate positioning and communication with motorists
can make turns safe.
Right turns
• To begin a right turn, experienced cyclists recommend signalling and
moving closer to the centre of the right-most lane. This position better
ensures your visibility and prevents vehicles from passing on the left or right.
• Follow the same path that a vehicle would take until you complete the turn.
• Once the turn is completed, signal and return to the the right-most
practicable position.
Right turns
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Left turns
Left turns are more complicated, take more planning
and require you to move over into active traffic
lanes. Never make a left turn from the right
side of the road.
• Shoulder check well in advance to determine the
best opportunity to change lanes.
• Signal and when it is safe begin moving over to
position yourself for the turn.
• Experienced cyclists recommend positioning yourself
in the centre of the left turn lane. This position better
ensures your visibility and prevents vehicles from passing on the left or right.
• Check oncoming traffic, including any vehicles turning right onto the same road
you’re entering.
• Once it is clear, make your left turn following the same path that a vehicle
would take, arriving in the centre of the lane.
• Once established after the turn, signal and return to the right-most
practicable position.
Left turns
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Moving across multiple lanes
On multi-lane roads, you should plan your turns well in advance as it may take
some time to get into the required turn lane. When traffic conditions permit,
you can make multiple lane changes in one smooth transition. If necessary, slow
down and wait for traffic to clear before changing lanes.
Always turn from left lane to left lane. Once you have completed the turn, be
sure to shoulder check, signal and move over one lane at a time until you’re in the
right-most practicable position.
Moving across
multiple lanes
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Moving across multiple turn lanes
When there is more than one turn lane, you should pick the lane best suited for
your destination. For example, if you’re planning to turn left again at the next
intersection, you’re better positioned in the far left turn lane (path 1). This will
allow you to arrive on the left side after the turn, already positioned to make
your turn at the next intersection. However, if you’re not turning left at the next
intersection, choose the far right turn lane in order to arrive in the right lane after
the turn (path 2).
across multiple
turn lanes
Pedestrian turns
A pedestrian turn is an alternative
that you can use in the event you’re
unable to move into the appropriate
turn lane. In situations where traffic
is heavy or travelling quickly, this may
be the safest option.
To make a pedestrian turn, proceed
straight through the intersection on
the right and dismount on the other
side. From there, walk across as a pedestrian. Once on the other side of the road,
you can remount and proceed when traffic conditions permit.
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Traffic circles/roundabouts
Traffic circles are a safe and efficient way to move from one street to another
without stopping. Cyclists and motorists should always enter and exit the
circle on the right and travel through in a counter-clockwise direction.
• Slow down as you approach.
As traffic circles are a single
lane in width, experienced
cyclists recommend adjusting
your position closer to the
centre of the lane beforehand
and travelling through the circle
holding that position.
Traffic circles
• Watch for and yield to
pedestrians and vehicles
already in the circle.
• Similar to a four way stop, if arriving at the same time the road user on the right
has the right-of-way.
• When clear, enter on the right. While in the circle you have the right-of-way over
vehicles entering but you should still be prepared for the unexpected.
• Upon reaching the street you wish to exit on to, signal your intentions. Yield to
pedestrians as you leave the circle.
• Once you exit, return to the right-most practicable position.
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Destination positioning
Destination positioning is planning ahead to get to the appropriate location
on the road in a way that clearly informs other road users where you’re going.
It makes you more visible and predictable.
Parked vehicles
When vehicles are parked on both sides of an intersection, you should continue
riding straight and not weave in and out of the parked vehicles. If you move back
to the right between the parked vehicles, you’re not as visible and motorists may
assume you’re turning right at the intersection.
Door zone
1.5 metres
Parked vehicles
The “door zone”
Passing parked vehicles can represent a significant
hazard for you as a cyclist. A vehicle door can cause
serious injury and result in you being thrown into
the adjacent lane of traffic. You must be alert to
both opening doors and vehicles pulling into
or out of parking spots. If a parked vehicle is
occupied, be especially careful. Experienced
cyclists recommend leaving 1.5 m (5 ft.) to stay
out of the “door zone”.
Where vehicles are parked intermittently, ride in
a straight line instead of swerving in and out
between them.
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Right-turn-only lanes
If you’re travelling through an intersection, you shouldn’t enter or remain in a
right-turn-only lane. Motorists will assume that you’re turning right and, by
continuing through the intersection, you become unpredictable. As well, you
must still re-enter the traffic flow on the other side of the intersection. Instead,
position yourself in the lane that is closest to the right, but is continuing through
the intersection.
Merge and diverge
You shouldn’t enter merge and diverge lanes unless you plan on turning.
Instead, remain in the lane that is closest to the right, but is continuing through
the intersection. A brief shoulder check just before reaching the diverge lane will
also alert motorists that you do not intend to turn right.
Merge and diverge
When approaching a yield, experienced cyclists recommend moving closer to the
middle of the lane to maximize your visibility. Once you have completed the turn,
move back to the right-most practicable position.
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Cycling infrastructure
There are many types of cycling infrastructure in Manitoba to make your ride
easier and safer. The following are the most common cycling infrastructure
found in our province. For more information on these examples plus additional
infrastructure and bike facilities, visit
Diamond lanes
Diamond lanes are specifically reserved for buses,
cyclists and emergency vehicles. They were created
as a means of increasing both the speed and
reliability of transit service, while providing a
safe lane for cyclists.
Some diamond lanes are in effect
all the time and others are reserved
for certain days and times. Signage
along the designated routes tell users
when and at what times these routes
are enforced. Motorists may not travel in a
diamond lane during designated times unless turning
right at the next intersection.
Sharing the lane with a bus:
• Experienced cyclists recommend riding in the middle of the diamond lane as
sharing the lane side-by-side with a bus is dangerous. However, The Highway
Traffic Act does not specifically permit cyclists to use the diamond lanes in this
manner so you need to exercise good judgment when deciding when it may
be best to ride away from the right side of the road and closer to the middle
of the lane.
• Unless you are able to maintain sufficient speed to stay in front of the bus as
it makes its stops, it’s best to simply slow down and remain behind the bus.
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Bike lanes
These painted lanes are intended to provide cyclists
with a defined space and help organize the flow
of traffic. They’re also a visual sign to motorists
that cyclists have a right to the road.
Most bike lanes are located
to the left of the parking lane
and as such require motorists
to cross the bike lane when
entering or leaving a parking
spot or turning. Even in a bike
lane, you must stay alert to both
vehicles and road conditions.
Turns and lane changes
Cyclists are not limited to the use of a bike lane when it is
provided. While the bike lane offers a defined space for cyclists,
there are times when you may have to leave the bike lane in order to change
lanes, make a turn or leave the road. The solid line on each side of the lane
does not mean you cannot leave the bike lane.
Sharrows are markings painted on a road that encourage cyclists and motorists
to share the road. They are generally intended for use on roads with lanes that are
wide enough for side-by-side bicycle and vehicle operation. However, motorists
should always pass cyclists at a safe distance and not assume
that the sharrow indicates that they can pass within the
travel lane. Depending on the position of the cyclist,
it may be necessary to change lanes to pass safely.
Cyclists should not pass
vehicles on the right
side along the sharrows.
These markings are not a
bike lane and you should
not treat them as such.
While it may be intuitive for
cyclists to ride down the centre
of the arrow, the sharrow marking simply indicates
cyclists and motorists are to share the lane and is not
an indication of where to ride.
Bike Safely
Pavement markings
and signage
What to do if you’re in a collision
1. Attend to any immediate injuries or concerns.
2. When safe, move out of the way of other traffic.
3. Exchange particulars:
Cyclists: provide name, phone number, address and type of bike.
Motorists: provide name and licence number, policy number, phone number,
address, vehicle type, plate number and vehicle owner (if different).
4. Document the details of the accident (e.g., where, when and how it happened,
and any damages and injuries).
5. Gather names and phone numbers of any witnesses.
Download an accident report form from our website. It can help you know what
details to obtain from the scene.
Since bicycles are not insured through Manitoba Public Insurance, a cyclist who
is found responsible for a collision could be held liable for damages caused to a
vehicle and would be responsible for any damages to their own bicycle.
Bodily injury claims for those involved in collisions with a vehicle are covered
through the Personal Injury Protection Plan.
To open a claim or for any other claim inquiries, call the Manitoba Public
Insurance Contact Centre:
In Winnipeg: 204–985–7000
Outside Winnipeg (toll-free): 1–800–665–2410
Deaf Access TTY/TDD: 204–985–8832
Bike Safely
For more information
This brochure contains highlights from the extensive cycling information
found on our website. For more information on the topics contained here
There are also numerous cycling advocacy groups in Manitoba that provide
cycling safety information. For information on these groups and local specialty
bike sales and maintenance shops, visit
For any additional information, please contact:
Community Relations
Manitoba Public Insurance
234 Donald Street, Box 6300
Winnipeg, MB R3C 4A4
Phone: 204–985–8770 ext. 8737
Toll free: 1–888–767–7640
Fax: 204–954–5317
Bike Safely
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