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MONTREAL – The City of Montreal has announced a number of proposed changes to Quebec’s Highway Safety Code.

The proposals were made Monday morning in the hopes of protecting pedestrians cyclists, vehicles and even animals following countless accidents.

The changes would allow cyclists to ride on sidewalks in certain circumstances, while cracking down on those who ride under the influence of alcohol.

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One proposal will also seek to reduce the number of cyclists who talk on cell phones or wear headphones while riding.

The city is also recommending that cyclists be allowed to ride in reserved bus lanes.

No proposal was made to make helmets mandatory.

READ MORE: Reserved bike lane opens on Saint-Denis Street

Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre said the changes are about tailoring the provincial Highway Safety Code to the particular needs of Montrealers.

“I want to make sure that we reflect the reality of the field, but at the same time I want to make sure that the cyclists, like the drivers, will be responsible,” he said.

“The one who is most vulnerable needs to be protected. We are focusing on prevention, but when the worst happens, you want to make sure that there are consequences attached to it.”

Critics welcomed most of the changes, but were concerned with cuts to public transit.

“We think that less cars on the road means an easier sharing of the space and more safety,” said Marianne Giguere, VP of the City Hall transport committee.

“Alternatives really should be promoted and effectively financed.”

READ MORE: Has Peel street become a cycling hazard?

Montreal cyclists also weighed in.

“I was drunk biking the other night and I got this injury on my face and on my hand,” said one cyclist.

“I thought I was in control, but I should have listened to my friends.”

Some mentioned the proposed changes should think about protecting everybody.

READ MORE: Montreal police operation encourages cycling safety in Plateau

“We need changes so that cyclists don’t crash into people, crash into cars, cause more damage, injure themselves, hurt other people, hurt cats, hurt dogs,” said another cyclist.

“I prefer to use the bike paths, not sharing with cars or buses.”

The Quebec transportation minister is expected to table the proposed changes by the end of the year.

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