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      Notes on the Highway Traffic Act of Ontario Section 148(6)

      Section 148(6) Every person on a bicycle or motor assisted bicycle who is overtaken by a vehicle or equestrian travelling at a greater speed shall turn out to the right and allow the vehicle or equestrian to pass and the vehicle or equestrian overtaking shall turn out to the left so far as may be necessary to avoid a collision.

      Section 148(1) establishes the principle that we drive on the right side of the roadway when there is opposite direction traffic present ... every person in charge of a vehicle on a highway meeting another vehicle shall turn out to the right from the centre of the roadway, allowing the other vehicle one-half of the roadway free.

      Section 148(2) establishes the principle that we drive on the right side of the roadway when there is same direction traffic passsing us. It requires every driver (including cyclists) being overtaken ... to turn out to the right to allow the overtaking vehicle to pass. Note the verb tense of this requirement and the one in Section 148(5), being overtaken not the future, about to be overtaken.

      Section 148(5), is a general law and applies to all drivers (including cyclists) when overtaking others. It establishes the principle about how much roadway to leave free. It requires every person in charge of a vehicle who is overtaking another vehicle to turn out to the left so far as may be necessary to avoid a collision, and then adds ... the person overtaken is not required to leave more than one half of the roadway free.

      Section 148(6) is specific to a cyclist being overtaken and allows a motorist to pass in the same lane as a cyclist. Since it is silent on how much roadway is to be left free, the general rule in Section 148(5) applies. Nothing in Section 148 prohibits cyclists riding abreast or requires cyclists to give up their space in the right half of the roadway.

      (italics indicate direct quote from the HTA)

September 2007
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