Knowing the do's and don'ts of bicycling will keep you and your family safe on the roads.
Learn more about safe cycling:
Cycling Skills: Ontario’s Guide to Safe Cycling (PDF – 3.39 MB) : a detailed handbook of rules and safety standards for any rider
Young Cyclist’s Guide (PDF – 2.83 MB) : a kid-friendly handbook book of cycling safety tips and rules for young riders
WHAT IS A BICYCLE?
A bicycle, or bike, is a vehicle that:
has one, two or three wheels (a unicycle, bicycle or tricycle)
has steering handlebars and pedals
LICENCE AND REGISTRATION
Bicycles do not require:
a driver’s licence
People of all ages can ride a bike.
RULES OF THE ROAD
As a cyclist, you must share the road with others (e.g., cars, buses, trucks, motorcycles, etc.).
Under Ontario’s Highway Traffic Act (HTA), a bicycle is a vehicle, just like a car or truck.
must obey all traffic laws
have the same rights and responsibilities as drivers
cannot carry passengers – if your bicycle is only meant for one person
RIDING ON THE RIGHT
You must stay as close to the right edge of the road whenever possible, especially if you’re slower than other traffic.
WHERE YOU CAN RIDE
You can ride on most roads, except:
controlled access highways, such as Ontario’s 400-series highways
across a road within a pedestrian cross-over – you must walk your bike to the other side
BIKE HELMETS - Children and youth
Riders under 16 years old: a parent or guardian must make sure their child wears a helmet.
Helmets are not compulsory for adults over 18; but a helmet can greatly reduce the risk of permanent injury or death if you fall or collide. It is strongly recommended that all riders wear helmets.
Types of helmets
The best helmets:
are made to meet strict safety standards
fit properly when worn correctly
BICYCLE SAFETY RESOURCES
For more information about cycling safety, check out:
the Ontario Cycling Association: an organization that offers CAN-BIKE courses in bike safety
the Toronto Cycling Committee: a citizen’s advisory group on bike-related policies
the Share the Road Cycling Coalition: an organization that works to make communities more bicycle-friendly
CAA Bike Safety: safety tips for cyclists and drivers
ServiceOntario Publications: order copies of Cycling Skills and the Young Cyclist’s Guide
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q1: What is the fine for not wearing a bicycle helmet?
All bicycle riders under the age of 18 need to wear an approved bicycle helmet when travelling on any public road. The total fine is $75.
Q2: How do I know which bicycle helmet to buy?
Look for a helmet that fits comfortably and meets safety standards. Check the inside of the helmet for stickers from one or more of the following organizations:
Canadian Standard Association: CAN/CSA D113.2-M89
Snell Memorial Foundation: Snell B90, Snell B90S, or Snell N94
American National Standard Institute: ANSI Z90.4-1984
American Society For Testing and Materials: ASTMF1447-94
British Standards Institute: BS6863:1989
Standards Association of Australia: AS2063.2-1990