The City of Calgary’s Transportation Bylaws have been updated with new rules for all road users, whether you’ve got four wheels or two. Among the updates is the Calgary’s new safe passing bylaw which will come into effect on September 1. The safe passing bylaw sets regulations around how cars pass bikers on the road and could slap you with a $203 fine if you’re not careful.
According to a news release by the City of Calgary, the new bylaw will require a minimum of one meter of space between your car and the “outermost edge of the bicycle,” meaning the handlebars. If you’re on a road with a speed limit above 60 k.m. per hour, one and a half meters of distance is required.
Though this may sound impossible in most circumstances, the new bylaw allows drivers to legally cross solid yellow lines to achieve the amount of distance needed to pass a biker when it's safe to do so.
The City of Calgary also requires cyclists to ride as close to the side of the road as possible while maintaining a safe path for themselves. In addition to the safe passing regulations, there some other changes to the city’s transportation bylaws you should be aware of.
For instance, skateboards, scooters, inline skates, and other similar modes of transportation are now allowed on cycle paths in the downtown core including Olympic Plaza and Stephen Avenue.
Also, cyclists can now use either of their arms to indicate a right turn and can “yield instead of coming to a full stop when entering or exiting a roadway or sidewalk from or to a pathway,” according to the news release. There are also some updates to what sort of bicycles are allowed on Calgary Transit, welcoming electric bikes outside of non-peak hours.
Sharing the road between vehicles and bikes is not always easy on roads without bikes lanes, especially during rush hour traffic. Though the new bylaws may make it tougher to pass, they help us understand what is and isn’t legal as a driver.
If you fail to give a biker that meter or meter and a half of space, you can get a hefty ticket of $203, so be careful. The city says the safe passing distance is roughly the distance of a car door when it's open.
Stay safe out there and share the road, no matter how many wheels you have.