Modes of Transportation – On a Bicycle

Safe Practices to Adopt

Being safe and obeying the Highway Safety Code are key for enjoying cycling.

Basic rules

  • Ride in a straight line.
  • If there is more than one lane, ride in the right lane.
  • Before changing lanes, signal your intention and change lanes only after checking to make sure that you can do so safely.
  • You may ride on the shoulder if it is paved.

Riding along parked vehicles

  • Ride in a straight line. 
  • Keep an eye on:
    • vehicle taillights: if they switch on, the vehicle could begin moving soon
    • vehicle occupants: they could open a car door at any time

At intersections

Before entering an intersection, yield the right of way to pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles that are already crossing the intersection.

At intersections with all-way stop signs

  • The first to come to a complete stop has the right of way, regardless of whether it is a cyclist, motorcyclist, motorist or heavy vehicle driver.
  • If another vehicle has the right of way: the cyclist can indicate that the other vehicle has the right of way by a hand signal.
  • If the cyclist has the right of way: before entering the intersection, the cyclist can make visual contact with the driver to ensure that he or she will yield the right of way.
  • If a pedestrian enters the intersection, the cyclist must stop and let the pedestrian go by.

At intersections controlled by traffic lights

  • Watch out for light changes and get ready to stop, unless you are already in the intersection.
  • Watch out for vehicles travelling in the left lane or that are passing. They could cut you off when turning right. Be ready to avoid them.

By clicking on the video, you will change the context of this page.

Be cautious at intersections

Going around vehicles that are turning right

When turning right, motorists do not always check to see whether there are cyclists. Be extra cautious:

  • If a vehicle is turning right: stay behind it or pass it on the left if you can perform the manoeuvre safely.

To go around a vehicle

1.  Look over your left shoulder to see whether the way is clear.Illustration of a cyclist checking over his left shoulder to see if there is a break in traffic before changing lanes.

2. Signal your intention to go left. Illustration of a cyclist seen from the front, holding his left arm out horizontally to signal his intention to turn left.

3.  Look over your left shoulder again.Illustration of a cyclist checking over his left shoulder to see if there is a break in traffic before changing lanes.

4. Pass on the left when it is safe to do so safely.

Warning

Is a vehicle turning right?

Never pass a vehicle on the right if that vehicle is getting ready to turn right!

Sidewalks, Driveways and Parking Entrances

Collisions between cyclists and motorists can occur where sidewalks, driveways and parking entrances meet the roadway. These locations present the same risks as intersections.

Be especially careful of drivers that are pulling out of driveways or parking spaces or lots. They could fail to see you coming.

Riding in groups

  • Ride in a single file in groups of no more than 15 cyclists (requirement of the Highway Safety Code).
  • Maintain a safety margin of at least 1 metre between cyclists.
  • Increase the safety margin before speeding down a hill.
  • As much as possible, use cycling infrastructures, such as paved shoulders, bike lanes, shared roadways and bike paths.

By clicking on the video, you will change the context of this page.

Riding in groups

Bikeways Shared with Pedestrians

  • Pedal slowly.
  • Make your presence known when you are approaching from behind (bell, horn or your voice).
  • Be ready to stop and yield to pedestrians.

No distractions while cycling!

The Highway Safety Code prohibits the following when cycling:

  • wearing earphones or headphones

Offenders face a fine of $30 to $60, plus fees.