Bicycles are considered vehicles and are therefore subject to Ontario traffic law. Understanding bicycle laws, and thinking of your bicycle as a vehicle will help you to avoid an accident.
Here are some facts you need to know:
- Bicycles must stop for red lights and stop signs.
- Cyclists must always signal when turning.
- Cyclists must stop for school buses, streetcars, pedestrians and crosswalks.
- Bicycles must have a white front light and a red rear light half an hour before sunset and after sunrise.
- Bikes must have white reflector tape on the front forks and reflective tape on the rear forks.
- Your bike must have a bell or a horn as well as at least one brake system on the rear wheel.
- Bikes made for one are not allowed to carry passengers. That means no one is allowed to be sitting on your handlebars!
- All cyclists under the age of 18 must wear a bicycle helmet. Parents and guardians shall not knowingly permit cyclists under 16 to ride without a helmet.
- You must be able to have both hands on your handlebars. This means no carrying purses, packages or groceries if they prevent you from having both hands on your bike.
- You’re not allowed to ride your bike on the sidewalk or curb. As a vehicle, you have to make sure to stick to the road or designated cycling paths.
Learn more about my tips for cyclists in my Ask the Expert segment on CTV Ottawa Morning Live with Lianne Liang – “How do I keep my children safe during bicycle season?”
If you were injured as a cyclists, get the information you need to receive the compensation you deserve ordering our book Spinning Out of Control: The Ontario Bicycle Accident Handbook. In this book, learn about safety tips; the legal and insurance issues that surround cycling in Ontario; and how to make an insurance claim if you have been badly injured.