Home > News

Winter cyclists, the Ottawa police have your back

Police remind motorist that cyclist have the right to the road even during the winter

The Ottawa police have given a helpful reminder to drivers that cyclists have just as much of a right to the roads as motorists do during the snowy conditions of winter.

After radio and television host Alex Pierson mocked a winter cyclist on Twitter for choosing to ride their bike in the snowy conditions instead of just driving a car like her, the Ottawa police Twitter account replied with a reminder that regardless of the conditions they have the right to be on the road year round.

Pierson took a photo which appears to be from the wheel of her car of a cyclist at an intersection on Friday. “U have to be a real knob to ride a bike on a day like this,” she Tweeted along with the photo.

The Ottawa police didn’t like the mocking attitude and replied with a comprehensive reminder of the road safety laws. Not only do cyclists have the right to the road year round but drivers must wait to pass them and give them one metre of distance when doing so. The Tweet also noted that for many people, the bicycle is their only mode of transportation.

Pierson shot back with a reply, “There is no room on the road when the snow isn’t cleared. That’s why it’s so foolish” she wrote. The police Twitter account simply replied, “There is room, you just need to wait for an opportunity to go around.”

A number of Twitter users pointed out that Pierson should be careful of her own conduct considering it appeared she took the photo while at the wheel of her vehicle though she contested that saying it was a dashcam.

In Ontario’s Share the Road road safety rules, it’s affirmed that cyclists have the same rights as motorists and that drivers should treat people on bikes as they would any other vehicle on the road. It also says drivers should give cyclists extra space when passing in slippery conditions. Cyclists also have the right to occupy as much of a lane as necessary to stay safe. “Never compromise your safety just for the convenience of others,” the guidelines on the Ottawa Police website reads.