Modes of Transportation – On a Bicycle

What the Law Says

When cycling, rules apply, such as obeying signs and signals and traffic lights. Some things are also prohibited, like riding on sidewalks or while wearing earphones or headphones. If you commit an offence under the Highway Safety Code, you could receive a fine and demerit points, depending on the offence.


Under the Highway Safety Code, cyclists must, among other things:

  • obey traffic signs and traffic lights at all times, even when turning right on a red light:
    • even if the way is clear, a red light or a stop sign means that you have to come to a complete stop. You have to wait for the light to turn green again before continuing
  • yield the right of way to vehicles, pedestrians and other cyclists that have priority at an intersection
  • ride at the far right of the roadway. However, cyclists may move away from the far right side of the roadway to turn left or when necessary, for example to avoid a car door or an obstacle on the roadway
  • signal their intentions over a sufficient distance to make sure that other users can see them
  • ride in a single file when riding in groups:
    • a group can be made up of 15 cyclists, maximum
    • if there are more than 15 cyclists, form a new group
  • ride astride the bicycle and hold the handlebars
  • ride with the flow of traffic—except if signs authorize cycling against the flow of traffic
  • obey traffic signs and signals


The Highway Safety Code prohibits cyclists from riding:

  • on highways and on their access and exit ramps
  • against the flow of traffic, unless signs indicate otherwise
  • on sidewalks, unless it is necessary or if signs require it
  • with earphones or headphones
  • between 2 lanes of moving vehicles
  • a bicycle with a faulty brake system

It is also prohibited:

  • to carry a passenger, except if the bicycle is equipped with a seat designed for that purpose
  • to drink alcohol while riding a bicycle

Offences: fines and demerit points

Cyclists who do not obey the Highway Safety Code are liable to fines and, in some cases, demerit points could be entered on their record.

Examples of offences Penalties

Failing to stop at a red light or stop sign

$15 to $30

3 demerit points

Turning right at a red light where prohibited by a sign

$15 to $30

3 demerit points

Failing to yield the right of way at an intersection to users who have priority

$15 to $30

2 or 3 demerit points (depending on the offence)

Riding with earphones or headphones

$30 to $60

Riding on the roadway other than on the far right

$15 to $30

Failing to signal one's intentions

$15 to $30

Riding two on a bicycle without

a fixed seat for that purpose

$15 to $30

Where can you ride your bike?

You can ride your bike on all public roadways except on highways and their access and exit ramps. To increase your safety, you can also use 4 types of cycling infrastructures:

  • paved shoulders
  • bike lanes
  • shared roadways
  • bike paths