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—except in case of necessity or where directed or authorized to do so by a sign or signal—and riding while wearing earphones or headphones. If you commit an offence under the Highway Safety Code, you could receive a fine.

Obligations

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 and other cyclists that have priority at an intersection. Yield the right of way to pedestrians who enter the intersection or who indicate the intention of entering the intersection
  • ride as close as possible to the right side of the roadway. A cyclist may leave that position to make a left turn, or in case of necessity
  • signal their intentions without interruption and over a sufficient distance to make sure that other users have seen 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 or in case of necessity
  • obey traffic signs and signals

Prohibitions

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 or in case of necessity
  • on sidewalks, except in case of necessity or where directed or authorized to do so by a sign or signal. In such a case, the cyclist must ride at a low speed and give pedestrians the right of way
  • with earphones or headphones
  • between 2 lanes of moving vehicles, unless the vehicles travelling in the lane to the right of the cyclist are in a lane reserved for right turns
  • 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

Examples of offences Penalties

Failing to stop at a red light or stop sign

$80 to $100

Turning right at a red light where prohibited by a sign

$80 to $100

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

$80 to $100

Riding with earphones or headphones

$30 to $60

Failing to signal one's intentions

$80 to $100

Riding two on a bicycle without a fixed seat for that purpose

$80 to $100

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