New B.C. road rules to protect pedestrians, cyclists in effect Monday

If you’re on the road Monday morning, keep in mind there are new laws in effect to keep drivers back from people walking and riding.

The province says the new rules will protect “vulnerable road users,” and now require drivers to keep at least one metre away when passing them.

If you’re driving at 50 km/hr or less, you need to keep a minimum distance of one metre, however, if you’re driving at 51 km/hr or more, you must keep a minimum distance of 1.5 metres.

“The distances are measured from the furthest protruding part of a passing motor vehicle, such as a mirror, to the furthest protruding part of a vulnerable road user or their equipment, such as a handlebar,” the province explained Monday.

Vulnerable road users include pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists, individuals on animals or in vehicles pulled by animals, and people who use electric wheelchairs, mobility scooters, and electric kick scooters.

The government explains police across the province may issue violation tickets for those who don’t follow the rules.

Penalties include fines beginning at $109 with three penalty points. The maximum fine is $2,000 and six months in jail.