Staying safe in the bike lane

Spring is finally here, and as the warm weather arrives across the country people are trading in their winter toques for bike helmets. But more cyclists on the roads also increases the chances of accidents that could result in serious injuries—or even death.
According to Transportation Canada’s National Collision Database, 42 cyclists lost their lives in 2016. Many of these deaths occurred as the result of collisions with vehicles. But if you’re a cyclist, you’re also bound to come across railway crossings—and tracks pose particular challenges for bikes.
To prevent rail-related incidents from happening, Operation Lifesaver urges cyclists to take precautions when riding near tracks. Here are some simple tips cyclists can follow to stay safe:
  • Only cross railway tracks at designated crossings.
  • At a crossing, slow down, look both ways and listen for approaching trains; proceed only if you are sure it is safe to do so.
  • When approaching railway tracks, signal your intention to slow down. 
  • When crossing, go slowly and stand on your pedals to cross railway tracks in order to keep your balance. 
  • Cross the tracks at a 90-degree angle, or as close to it as possible. 
  • Be aware, rails can be very slippery when wet. It’s safest to get off your bike and cross the tracks on foot if it’s been raining.
For more tips for cyclists, check out our resources page. Whether you’re cycling to work or just out for a leisurely ride, staying safe means following the rail safety rules—and being aware of where dangers might be.