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Important safety information on bicycling

During the summertime, bike riding is a phenomenal means of transportation. It provides quick and cheap manoeuvrability around town and is very environmentally friendly!  However, there are many important tidbits of information that encompass cycling that people of all ages need to be aware of.

 

Bike riding woman downhill Graves and Richard, Personal Injury Lawyer Office, St. Catharines, Ontario

Bike riding woman downhill Graves and Richard, Personal Injury Lawyer Office, St. Catharines, Ontario

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, a bicycle is a vehicle, just like a car or truck.

All cyclists:

  • 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.

Here’s what you need to know about wearing bike helmets

Children and youth

By law, every cyclist under age 18 must wear an approved helmet. There is a $75.00 fine for not wearing a helmet under the age of 18 in Ontario.

Adults

Helmets are not mandatory 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, no matter the level of your riding ability. Did you know that if you are 14 years of age or older, you may be fined $60 for cycling on a sidewalk? Also, if you are cycling recklessly or negligently, the fine may be increased to $90 on Toronto sidewalks.

If you were injured as a result of the condition of a roadway or sidewalk you may be able to seek compensation but you must act quickly. Many government agencies have very strict time limits you must adhere to in notifying the agency in writing of your intention to make a claim. Contact our law offices for a free consultation.