Bicycle Safety

Whether you are a cyclist, motorist or pedestrian, being aware of and respecting each other is the first step to increasing everyone’s road safety. This is especially important as an increasing number of people are commuting on a bicycle. With so much traffic on the roads, it is important that motorists and cyclists work together, understand their roles and responsibilities and share the road.

Cyclists

  • Be seen – wear bright coloured clothing. If riding at dusk or night, have reflective strips on clothing, a front white light and rear red light.
  • When riding on rural roads, ride as close to the edge as possible.
  • A cyclist must yield to pedestrians – the same as required by other drivers.
  • A cyclist is not permitted to ride a bike in a pedestrian crosswalk or crossover, but must walk the bike across.
  • When approaching an intersection, take your turn. Watch for vehicles signalling to turn right.
  • Always ride in the same direction as traffic.
  • Avoid driving in the blind spot of cars or trucks.
  • When riding in an urban area, ride at least 1 meter away from the side of the road and from parked cars.
  • Be aware of drivers in parked cars opening their doors.

Motorists

  • Pass a bicycle only when there is room and it is safe to do so. There must be at least 1 meter between the bike and your vehicle as you pass.
  • Be aware that a cyclist may ride in any part of the lane if their safety warrants it.
  • When making a right turn, ensure that you are not cutting off a cyclist.
  • When making a left turn, watch for approaching bicycles. They may be going faster than you think.
  • When parked on the side of the road, always check for approaching bicycles before opening the car door.
  • At railway crossings, stay behind the cyclist until they have crossed the tracks.
  • Do not stop or drive in a bicycle lane.

Ontario Bicycle Laws (Bill 31)

Bill 31 is part of the Making Ontario’s Roads Safer Act. The bill contains laws on the rules of the road for cyclists as well as for motorists about how to make sure our roads are safe for everyone to use.

Remember:

  • It is illegal for persons under 18 to not wear a proper bicycle helmet.
  • Bicycles must have a white/amber light on the front and a red light on the back, along with reflectors, during times of insufficient light.
    • A fine of $110 may be issued for those that do not have proper lights and reflectors
  • Bicycle riders shall obey the bicycle traffic control signals if they are present.
  • Bicycle riding on crosswalks is prohibited.
  • Bicycles can be ridden on paved highway shoulders that are divided into two separate roadways.
  • Contraflow bike lanes can be present on one-way streets.
  • Bicycles may not attach to vehicle/street cars to be towed.
  • Motorists shall maintain no less than 1 meter distance from a bicycle when passing.

 

 

More Resources

Cycling routes