Page updated: Wednesday April 11 2012
Some cycling gear — such as a bell or horn — is required by law, while other items — like mirrors and a water bottle — will make your ride more safe and enjoyable.
Items required by law
Always wear a helmet when riding your bike, no matter your age or how far you’re going.
Helmets prevent serious injury.
Cyclists under the age of 18 are required by law to wear an approved bicycle helmet when cycling on any public road.
According to the Ministry of Ontario’s Highway Traffic Act (HTA):
- An operator must wear a bicycle helmet if under 18 and operating the bicycle on the road. If the operator is under 16 it is the duty of the operator's parent or guardian to ensure that he/she wears a helmet. If the person is 16 or 17 it is his or her personal responsibility to wear a helmet.
- A bicycle must have:
- A bell/horn in good working order.
- White reflective tape on the front forks.
- Red reflective tape on the rear forks.
- At least one brake system on the rear wheel.
- A white front lightand a rear light or reflector, if riding between 1/2 hour before sunset and 1/2 hour after sunrise.
If these items are broken or missing, you will have to pay a set fine.
Under the HTA, a bicycle is considered a vehicle. You can legally ride your bike on any road in Ontario unless:
- The road is an expressway or freeway highway (such as the 401 or QEW).
- “No Bicycle” signs are posted.
Visit the Ministry of Transportation’s “Vehicles that can operate on roads: Bicycle” section for more guidelines on riding your bike on Ontario roads.
Ontario Highways Traffic Act
- Choosing a bike |
- Cycling Equipment |
- What to wear and what to bring |
- Riding safely
- Helmets |
- Bicycle security |
- Cycling with children |
- Teaching children to cycle safely
- Where is it legal to bike? |
- Bicycles and Public Transit |
- Bicycle shops in Peel
- Overcoming the weather |
- Cycling and shopping |
- Bicycle Maintenance