Familiarize yourself with the Law Regarding Cycling in Ontario
Bicycles in Ontario are considered vehicles. Therefore riders must abide by rules of the road set out in the Ministry of Transportation’s Highway Traffic Act. Cyclists and motorists can be fined for violations of the Act.
Visit the Ministry of Transportation’s website for important bike safety information and more detail on fines for violations and to review the Cycling Skills Guide and Young Cyclist’s Guide. For comprehensive information about Ontario’s infrastructure and support for cycling in Ontario, visit that Ontario’s Cycling Strategy.
Prior to getting on the road, make sure:
- Your bike is equipped with a white front light and a red rear light or reflector and white reflective tape on the front forks and red reflective tape on rear forks (if you ride between 1/2 hour before sunset and 1/2 hour after sunrise).
- Your bike has a bell or horn in good working order.
- Your bike has at least one brake system on the rear wheel.
- You bring identification that provides your name and address.
- You wear an approved bicycle helmet. This is mandatory for those under the age of eighteen (18). Parents/guardians are legally responsible. This is also a club requirement for all members who participate in club-sanctioned rides.
During your ride, make sure you:
- Ride on the right-hand side of the road.
- Exercise caution depending on road conditions.
- Stop for red lights and stop signs and comply with all other signs.
- Respect crosswalks — yield or stop for pedestrians.
- Walk your bike when crossing at a crosswalk.
- Ride in the designated direction on one-way streets.
- Ride in the right-hand lane, or as close as practicable to the right edge of the road except when preparing to turn left or when passing another vehicle.
- Signal all turns. Before turning, look behind you and signal your turn. Cyclists can use their right arm to signal a right turn.
- Stop for stopped school buses when the upper alternating red lights are flashing.
- Stop two metres behind streetcar doors and wait until passengers have boarded or departed and reached the curb.
- If walking your bike on a highway where there are no sidewalks, walk on the left-hand side of the road facing traffic. If it is not safe for you to cross the road to face traffic, you may walk your bike on the right-hand side of the road.
- Ride on expressway/freeway highways such as the 400 series, the QEW, Ottawa Queensway and on roads where “No Bicycle” signs are posted.
- Take passengers on a bicycle designed for one person.
- Attach yourself to the outside of another vehicle or streetcar for the purpose of “hitching a ride.”
Familiarize Yourself and Others with Techniques for Safe Riding
For those new to cycling and for veterans needing reminders, visit these sites for additional tips on safe riding.
Details of Ontario’s law regarding Bike Helmets
Ontario’s plans to expand Infrastructure for cycling: Ontario Ministry of Transportation Cycling Strategy – Draft November 2012