City of Regina
Saskatchewan CA

CPS Public Report.

Cycling Safety


Department:Roadways & TransportationSponsors:
Category:Not Applicable

Report Body



This report provides options and implications of enhancing cycling safety through lane distances and protective gear in response to motion MN19-19 from the September 30, 2019 meeting of City Council.


In addition, this report includes research into cycling safety bylaws in other municipalities.



Financial Impact

There are no financial implications for the recommended option. However, if one of the other options requiring a communication campaign were to be approved, a funding source is required and would need to be determined through the 2021 budget approval process.


Policy/Strategic Impact

The available options are consistent with The Official Community Plan, Bylaw No. 2013-48 (OCP), specifically:


Section D3, Goal 1 – Sustainable Transportation Choices, “Offer a range of year-round sustainable transportation choices for all, including a complete streets framework.”

·         5.7 Proactively and strategically promote walking, cycling, carpooling and transit choices by using City and community-led programs and organizations to provide education and promote awareness.


The available options are consistent with The Transportation Master Plan, specifically:

·         4.5 Amend the Traffic Bylaw No. 9900 to reduce barriers for those using active modes.

·         4.6 Develop a strategy to increase awareness of active transportation mode opportunities and their benefits.

·         4.32 Increase education and awareness about how motor vehicles and cyclists can safely share road space. Materials and resources should be developed with community partners including SGI Canada.

·         5.15 Adopt an Engineering, Enforcement, Education and Emergency (4E) approach to road safety.


There are no accessibility, environmental or other implications or considerations.




Administration reviewed the following options to consider regarding cycling safety:


Motorist and Cyclist Distance:


Option 1

The City of Regina (City) enact a new section to the Regina Traffic Bylaw No. 9900 (Bylaw) requiring motorists to maintain a distance of 1.5 metres when passing a cyclist with a speed higher than 50 kilometres per hour, and one metre when passing a cyclist with a speed of 50 kilometres per hour or less.


Research has shown that municipalities such as the City of Calgary have not been successful enforcing similar regulations. In fact, the municipality research showed that there have been no tickets issued in any of the jurisdictions that had a bylaw in place. Additional details can be found in Appendix A.


Regina Police Service (RPS) has also stated that such an infraction will be difficult to enforce as RPS does not have the capability of accurately measuring the horizontal distance between a car and a cyclist while both are in motion.


Advantages include:

·         increased safety for cyclists when vehicles adhere to the passing distance

·         the bylaw approval process would increase awareness of appropriate passing distances and serve as community education


Disadvantages include:

·         challenges of enforcing the bylaw section

·         difficult to determine fault in the case of an infraction

·         increase in traffic congestion where there is not adequate space for cyclist and motorist on the roadway

·         may create a false sense of security for cyclists that motorists will obey the bylaw


Option 2

The City undertake a communication campaign to educate motorists on appropriate cyclist passing distances. The estimated cost is expected to be between $15,000 – $25,000, and the City would look to partner with community stakeholders such as RPS, Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI) and Canadian Automobile Association (CAA).


Advantages include:

·         the campaign would increase awareness of appropriate passing distances and serve as community education


Disadvantages include:

·         without an enforcement mechanism there may be no noticeable changes to driver behaviour

·         funding required not included in current budgets


Helmets and Cycling Safety:


Option A

Enact a new bylaw that requires cyclists on all roads to adhere to some or all of the following:

·         Canadian Standards Association (CSA) approved helmet for all cyclists with no age restriction

·         a bell or horn in good working order

·         a white front light and a red rear light mounted on the bicycle, or wear reflective clothing

·         white reflective tape for the front and red reflective tape for the rear forks


Many studies show that bicycle helmets save lives and are endorsed by organizations such as the Canadian Paediatric Society. Most provinces have enacted provincial legislation requiring cyclists to wear a helmet. Provinces such as Alberta and Manitoba make it mandatory for individuals under eighteen to wear a helmet, whereas provinces such as British Columbia and Nova Scotia make it mandatory for all ages. Saskatchewan is one of four provinces/territories in Canada that does not have provincial legislation for wearing bicycle helmets. Municipalities have the ability enact their own bylaws in the absence of provincial legislation, something the City of Moose Jaw did in 2018 when they made helmets mandatory for youth under sixteen to wear a helmet.


A bicycle is defined as a vehicle under The Traffic Safety Act, meaning that cyclists have the same responsibility to obey traffic laws and could be fined should a violation occur. Examples of fine structures from other municipalities are provided in Appendix B and range between $29 - $155 for violating the helmet laws.

Advantages include:

·         increase in cyclist personal safety

·         increase in awareness from the motoring public for cyclists


Disadvantages include:

·         added cost to cyclist may serve as a barrier to entry

·         potentially discourage and suppress cycling

·         enforcement may have negative perception in the community


Option B

The City undertake a communication campaign to educate residents on the benefit of wearing helmets and the use of additional safety equipment on bicycles. The estimated cost is expected to be between $15,000 – $25,000, and the City would look to partner with community stakeholders such as RPS, SGI and CAA.


Advantages include:

·         increased public awareness of the benefits of bicycle personal protective equipment

·         no financial barriers to entry for the cyclist

·         increase in safety for the cyclists that choose to utilize the safety equipment


Disadvantages include:

·         lack of regulation may lead to no noticeable changes in the use of safety equipment on bicycles

·         funding required not included in current budgets


Helmets and cycling safety would be part of a communication campaign that could also include safe passing distances.




None with respect to this report.



The City is striving to provide residents with improved transportation choices, and cycling is a healthy option which is encouraged and promoted through the Transportation Master Plan. Regina’s Official Community Plan (OCP) also encourages promotion of cycling to provide education and awareness. The idea of encouraging bike safety through education is currently the most effective and economical option. In addition to educating the cyclist, an awareness campaign would also educate the general public about helmet safety, safe passing distance and cyclists understanding the rules of the road and how they apply to them.


Administration conducted a jurisdictional review of how other municipalities handle helmet laws, passing distances and other cyclist infractions. The review shows that many municipalities have specific bylaws with respect to cyclists, but most municipalities do not enforce the offences that relate to such bylaws.


Enacting a new bylaw that would mandate passing distances between vehicles and cyclists is difficult to enforce. There is a device available but cost upwards of $1,000 and could only be installed on the bike, which will signal the cyclist with a beeping sound. Without the device installed on personal bicycles, RPS cannot accurately measure the horizontal distance between the vehicle and cyclist. It will be difficult to obtain an accurate measurement without significant financial investment to the cyclist.


Through discussions with Bike Regina, they are not in favor of mandatory helmets as they are concerned with discouraging cyclists due to increased barriers to begin the activity.  Over 60 per cent of Canada’s helmet laws are introduced through the provinces or territories and Saskatchewan is one of four provinces/territories yet to introduce a provincial helmet law. Without a provincial law in place, the City of Moose Jaw implemented a helmet bylaw of its own. However, the Moose Jaw Police Service focuses its attention on education and awareness and not on enforcement. The City of Saskatoon is working on a report to bring to council in 2020. The report will include information on safe passing distance, helmets and allowing children under the age of 14 to be able to ride bicycles on the sidewalk. Appendix B provides a breakdown of which provinces and/or territories have helmet laws and what age groups are affected by such laws.


Administration also investigated additional auxiliary safety devices such as horns, front and back lights and the fines that would be associated with not complying with a potential bylaw change. Appendix B contains examples of fine amounts for each infraction as per other municipalities.

In researching other communities, it became apparent that minimum passing distances and cycling safety gear requirements are difficult to enforce. Tickets and/or violations are rarely issued by police forces and bylaw changes are generally used for education purposes only. Therefore, Administration is not recommending any options and this report is intended to provide information.




At the September 30, 2019 meeting of City Council, motion MN19-19 was considered.


At the October 28, 2019 meeting of City Council, this matter was referred to Administration to provide a report to the Community and Protective Services Committee in Q1 of 2020.

The recommendation in this report is within the delegated authority of the Committee.


Respectfully submitted,                                                        Respectfully submitted,

{Signature}                                                                                    {Signature}


Prepared by: Syed Mukhtar, Engineer-in-Training