Cycling rules are defined by both provincial and municipal governments. They are in place to ensure all road users stay safe.
More and more people are choosing cycling as their preferred way to get around. With the number of cyclists on the road increasing, it is the municipality’s role to help create a cycling-friendly future through educating drivers, pedestrians and cyclists about the rules of the road.
Keeping Cyclists Safe
As the City continues to implement new cycling infrastructure as part of the Cycling Master Plan and works towards Vision Zero’s goal of eliminating traffic deaths and injuries caused by vehicular collisions while increasing safe, healthy equitable mobility for all, there are some critical safety tips that can help keep you safe while cycling.
Cyclist Rights and Responsibilities on the Road
As a cyclist, you have the same rights and responsibilities as other drivers. It is your responsibility to cycle in a safe manner and to follow the rules of the road. Below are some guidelines for safe cycling:
- Ride straight - do not weave around parked vehicles or into crosswalks at intersections. Use hand signals and look for clues from other drivers - make eye contact.
- Ride defensively - think and look well ahead. Ride a door's width from parked vehicles to avoid being hit by a door suddenly opening (the dreaded "door prize").
- Shoulder check, signal and change lanes or move toward the centre of the roadway before turning left.
- Always pass a right-turning vehicle on the left. Pass buses and trucks driving in the curb lane only on their left.
- Shoulder check, signal and change lanes or move toward the centre of the roadway to pass a vehicle on your right.
- See and be seen - position yourself where drivers can see you and where you can see what's happening around you. Ride with traffic. Avoid riding in driver blind spots, wear bright or reflective clothing, and use lights at night.
- Stop for pedestrians at crosswalks and walk your bike when crossing at a crosswalk.
- If you are an adult, stay off sidewalks. It is only legal for children under the age of 14 to ride on sidewalks in London (London Streets By-law).
Remember, legally cyclists are allowed to ride on any part of the roadway. If the lane is too narrow to share with motorized traffic – and/or you have less than one metre on either side of your bike you may choose to ride in the centre of the lane. As a driver, obey the 1 metre passing law.
Legal Requirements for Bicycles
Under provincial law, your bicycle must include a number of features:
- Brakes: At least one brake system on the rear wheel capable of skidding on dry, level pavement.
- Bell: A bell or horn in good working order.
- Lights: A solid white front light and a rear red light or reflector if you ride between ½ hour before sunset and ½ hour after sunrise.
- Reflective tape: White reflective tape on the front forks as well as red reflective tape on the rear stays.