Ottawa’s cycling culture continues to grow at a rapid pace. With the introduction of bike new bike lanes, cycling safety education, new safety measures such as Bill 31, Making Ontario’s Roads Safer, Cycling Safety Awareness Program (CSAP) and a general awareness less, it seems that there are more and more cyclists on Ottawa’s roads and many cycling infrastructure improvements .
Cycling rules in Ottawa
In Ottawa, cyclists are allowed on mixed-use pathways; however cyclists should follow these safety guidelines:
- Where there is one, always stay on the right of the yellow centre line
- Pass other cyclists safely
- Notify other cyclists when you are passing. Use a bell or notify them with your voice.
- Always drive in control.
- Make sure you are always well lit. Ride carefully, especially when it’s dark.
- Use a bicycle light.
Cycling on the sidewalk is prohibited by the City of Ottawa Traffic and Parking By-law except where it is permitted by official or authorized signs.
Cyclists under 18 must, by law, wear a helmet in Ontario.
Cyclists must have an alarm, bell or horn on their bike.
When cycling at night or in low visibility conditions, you need a white front light and a red rear reflector.
Bicycles must also have 25 cm of white reflective tape on the front forks and 25 cm of red reflective tape on the back forks .
On pathways, always stay under the courtesy limit of 20 km/h.
Cyclists wear a helmet (required if under 18 years old)
Ottawa Police are currently conducting an educational, awareness-building campaign that focuses on the new one-metre rule, which came into effect in Ontario in September 2015. Drivers are expected to leave at least one metre between themselves and a cyclist, when passing. Failure to do so could result in a fine.
The more drivers and cyclists work together to make our city a safe place to drive and cycle, the better we can make our city.