Page updated: Wednesday April 11 2012
Follow the rules of the road
A bicycle is classified as a vehicle under the Ministry of Transportation's Highway Traffic Act (HTA). As a cyclist, you have the same rights and responsibilities as a motorized vehicle driver.
So when you’re cycling you must follow the rules of the road and behave in a predictable way.
Bike on the right
- Ride with the flow of traffic on the right hand side of the road.
- Don’t weave in and out of traffic.
- Stay close to the curb and watch for uneven pavement and debris.
- Give yourself plenty of room. Remember that you have the right to take a lane if necessary.
- Bring plenty of water to avoid dehydration.
- Carry snacks to keep your energy up on longer rides.
When cycling with others, ride in single-file along the side of the road, leaving space between each bike.
Communicate and be predictable
- Use hand signals to show that you’re going to stop or make a turn.
- Try to make eye contact with motor vehicle drivers.
- Always check over your shoulder before turning or changing lanes.
Watch for parked and turning vehicles
- Drivers can open their car doors without warning and knock you off your bike. So be careful while cycling past parked cars.
- Don’t pass on the right side of a motorized vehicle that’s signaling to turn right. The driver has the right of way and might not see you.
Plan your route
- Avoid roads with lots of traffic. Whenever possible use trails, paths and bike lanes instead.
- Check the Clean Air Peel website for the daily Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) and the Ultraviolet (UV) Index to plan outdoor activities accordingly.
- Before you leave for your bike ride:
- Think about your journey and take the safest route to reach your destination.
- Tell someone where you’re going and how long it will take you to get there.
Avoid getting injured by being visible, using your gears properly and cycling at a safe speed.
Using your gears
- Riding in high gear can damage your joints, so only ride in high gear when you have to.
- Get comfortable with changing gears frequently.
- Make sure you use the right gear for the grade of the road. Your legs should revolve 70-100 times per minute when peddling.
- Ride at a reasonable speed that gives you total control over steering your bicycle.
- Always be prepared to stop and make quick manoeuvres.
- When biking in the rain or snow, give yourself extra room and apply your brakes earlier than you would when the road is dry.
Reporting a collision
Call 911 if you’re involved in or witness a serious collision and need immediate emergency help.
If you have witnessed or been involved in a collision but no one is injured, call:
- Peel Regional Police non-emergency number: 905-453-3311 (in Mississauga and Brampton)
- Ontario Provincial Police – Caledon detachment: 905-584-2241 (Caledon)
- 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