Ottawa injury lawyers David Hollingsworth and Associates share cycling safety tips for cyclists of all ages.

Ottawa Cycling Accidents

The kids are out on their bikes and summer is finally here. This can also means an increase in the number of bicycle related accidents.  Ottawa Police recently targeted bicycle safety infractions in Ottawa with a goal of educating people and enforcing  the rules of the road. Read more about this initiative here and the results were astonishing.

The Ministry of Transportation has put out some great resources and safety tips for cyclists of all ages.

They offer FREE cycling guides that can be immediately downloaded.

The Ministry has produced a detailed handbook of rules and safety standards for all riders entitled “Cycling Skills: Ontario’s Guide to Safe Cycling” and the “Young Cyclist’s Guide” , which is a handbook designed for younger riders that deals specifically with cycling safety tips and rules for children on bicycles.  I highly urge you to take a look and if possible download these guides to share with your children.

There are rules and regulations when it comes to bicycle use. In Ontario, bicycles do not require registration, plates, or  insurance.  Anyone is allowed to ride a bicycle; however, the rules of the road to apply to bicycles. For instance,  a cyclist must share the road with other vehicles.

Under the HTA, the Ontario’s Highway Traffic Act a bicycle is a vehicle, just like any other vehicle such as a car and cyclists must obey  all traffic laws. Cyclists must also be responsible drivers and must obey rules surrounding bicycles. For example, on a regular bicycle, it is illegal to transport a passenger , when the bicycle is meant for one person only.

In Ontario, all cyclists must stay as close as possible to the right edge of the road , unless otherwise indicated. In some instances, there may be designated bike lanes that are not immediately to the right . Cyclists in Ontario cannot ride their bicycles on most highways ( Ontario’s 400-series highways) and cyclists must not drive across a road within a pedestrian crossover . The rules in Ontario are that cyclists  must walk their bicycles to the other side of the crossover.

Ontario law states that every cyclist under the age of 18 years must wear an approved helmet and for cyclists under the age of16 years old, it is the responsibility of the parent or guardian to ensure their child is wearing a helmet while riding a bicycle. The helmet must also fit properly to offer as much protection as possible.

While not mandatory for adults, as an Ottawa personal injury lawyer, I strongly urge all adults to wear a helmet while cycling. Helmets are not compulsory for adults, but in my opinion,  the use of a helmet may very well save your life.  There are plenty of cycling resources out there and the Ministry of Transportation is just one of them, but a good one, so I thought I would share it with you.  Have a great, safe summer of cycling.