Sharing the road doesn’t have to be complicated or dangerous. In order to enhance road safety for cyclists, the Ontario Ministry of Transportation recently adopted the ‘One Meter Passing Law’.
As the law states, ‘where practical, a driver must give at least one meter of space when passing a cyclist’.
From the MTO’s website:
Q1: What is the penalty to drivers for not leaving a minimum of one-metre distance when passing a cyclist?
The penalty for not leaving a minimum one-metre passing distance is a set fine of $85.00 plus a $5 court fee plus a $20 victim surcharge fine for a total payable of $110.00.
Drivers who contest their ticket by going to court may face a fine of up to $500 if found guilty (fine range is $60 to $500). Upon conviction, two demerit points will also be assigned against the individual’s driver record.
Q2: Will cyclists also be required to leave a minimum one-metre distance when passing a vehicle?
Cyclists are not required to leave a specific one-metre space; however, they are required to obey all the rules of the road. Cyclists who are being overtaken should turn out to the right to allow the vehicle to pass.
Q3: What if there isn’t enough room to allow for a one-metre passing distance? Can a vehicle cross the centre median line to pass the cyclist?
A motorist may, if done safely, and in compliance with the rules of the road, cross the centre line of a roadway in order to pass a cyclist. If this cannot be done, he or she must wait behind the cyclist until it is safe to pass.
For more on staying safe while you walk and roll, visit our Getting There Safe page.