Kingston Police

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Road Safety Tips

Drivers

 

  • Obey the rules of the road including all traffic signs and signals;
  • Signal all lane changes, turns, and stops;
  • Avoid any handheld electronic devices while driving;
  • Double check blind spots before changing lanes;
  • Drive within the posted speed limits and adjust accordingly to the weather and traffic conditions;
  • Use lights at all times;
  • Apply extra care when entering and changing directions at an intersection;
  • Pay extra attention to pedestrians;
  • Seatbelts are required by all passengers;
  • Keep your vehicle in good condition, with proper tires inflated at the correct pressure. Make sure your brakes are in good working order and ensure your windshield is always clear.

 

Pedestrians

 

As of January 1, 2016, new laws were enacted which require drivers to stop and yield the entire roadway at pedestrian crossovers and school crossings.

 

  • Pedestrians, be alert at all times to your surroundings;
  • Don't rely on traffic signals or stop signs. Ensure that it is safe to cross the road before crossing;
  • Walk on sidewalks whenever possible;
  • Whenever possible, use a crosswalk to cross the street.  Avoid "jaywalking" or crossing the street between vehicles; 
  • Parents, ensure that you are aware of your children's location and activity at all times.  Do not allow young children to play unsupervised near roadways.
  • After dark, drivers cannot see people in dark clothing until it's too late. Wear reflective clothing or carry a lit flash light so drivers will see you.

 

Cyclists

 

  • Obey the rules of the road including all traffic signs and signals;
  • Ride predictably and defensively, remembering to give pedestrians the right-of-way;
  • Ride in a straight line at least one meter from the curb or parked cars. You may occupy any part of a lane when your safety warrants it;
  • Make your presence felt. Wear bright colour clothing. At night or in inclement weather, it is important to use reflective lights in the front, side and rear that make you visible from all directions;
  • Do not run stop signs or red lights or use the wrong side of the street. It is best and safest to ride single file;
  • Make eye contact with drivers whenever possible. This ensures that the motorists see you and helps you assert your rightful place on the road;
  • Make sure you are always aware of your surroundings. Know what is behind you and watch out for what is in front of you;
  • A helmet is required if under 18 years old;
  • Clearly communicate your intentions by using hand signals when turning or stopping;
  • Have a bell or horn on your bike; and
  • Make sure your brakes are always in top-notch condition. Be aware of how weather and road conditions can affect your ability to brake.

 

Motorcycles:

 

  • Ride predictably and defensively;
  • Divide a large group of riders into several smaller groups. Have them leave at staggered times to the same destination. This will be less intimidating to novice riders and safer for other road users as well;
  • Ride only in a staggered formation; and
  • Safe and proper following distance between motorcycles

 

Reminders for Motor Vehicles Regarding Cyclists:

 

Treat bicycles as you would any other vehicle on the road. Cyclists generally ride in the right-most through traffic lane, about one meter from the curb or parked cars.

 

  • When passing a cyclist, leave a safe distance between your car and the bicycle. Give extra passing distance during slippery road conditions;
  • Pass at a moderate speed and give plenty of space on quiet roads. Cyclists may be startled by fast-approaching vehicles;
  • Be alert to your surroundings. Shoulder check and signal all lane changes and turns;
  • Communicate with cyclists. Try to make eye contact with cyclists and if you're unsure of their next move, wait; and
  • Check for bicycles in your side view mirror before opening your car doors. Riding at night is considered between ½ hour before sunset and ½ hour after sunrise.

 

Reacting to an Approaching Emergency Vehicle

 

When you see an approaching emergency vehicle with its lights and/or siren on, prepare to clear the way.

 

  • React quickly but calmly. Don’t slam on the brakes or pull over suddenly. Use signals to alert other drivers you intend to pull over;
  • Check your rearview mirrors. Look in front and on both sides of your vehicle. Allow other vehicles to also pull over. Pull to the right and gradually come to a stop;
  • Wait for the emergency vehicle to pass and watch for other emergency vehicles that may be responding to the same call. Check to make sure the way is clear and signal before merging back into traffic;
  • Don’t drive on or block the shoulder on highways. Emergency vehicles will use the shoulder of the road if all lanes are blocked;
  • If you are in an intersection and preparing to make a turn, you should abandon the turn and clear the intersection by proceeding straight when safe to do so, then pulling to the right and stop;
  • When on a one-way road or divided highway having more than two lanes of traffic, move to the closest curb or edge of the roadway. Your vehicle should be parallel to the roadway and clear of any intersections, including highway on/off ramps; and
  • When the emergency vehicle has passed, check to make sure the way is clear and signal before merging back into traffic. Remain vigilant for additional emergency vehicles, and remember it is illegal to follow within 150 metres of an emergency vehicle.
  • Some firefighters and volunteer medical responders may display a flashing green light when using their own vehicles to respond to a fire or medical emergency. Please yield the right-of-way to help them respond to an emergency call quickly and safely;
  • Police or other enforcement officers may require you to pull over and bring your vehicle to an immediate stop. Typically the officer may signal this requirement by driving their vehicle with its emergency lights flashing and/or siren on behind your vehicle or by using hand gestures from the side of the road; and
  • When stopping your vehicle, follow the previous procedures, except that you should bring your vehicle to a stop outside of traffic lanes and onto the shoulder of the roadway where possible, or turn and stop on a side street with less traffic. If the officer gives direction as to where to stop, follow the officer’s directions.

 

from the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police