Are you a Ottawa cyclist? Do you know the Ontario Highway Traffic Act and Ottawa cycling bylaws?

Ottawa Bicycle Accident Lawyers David Hollingsworth

It looks to be a gorgeous day in Ottawa and I suspect many people will be getting their bicycles out for the first time this year.  Cycling is an amazing activity. Sadly, it is not an activity without it’s risks.  There are many things drivers and cyclists can do to help reduce the likelihood of a cycling accident.  There are also a number of laws in Ottawa surrounding cycling and cycling safety.

For example, did you know that  in certain circumstances a bicycle is considered to be a vehicle and that any collisions must be reported  to Ottawa police if  injuries or damages are in excess of $1,000 ? It’s important to treat a cycling accident like you would a motor vehicle accident.  Gather all the information such as names, phone numbers, witnesses, insurance information, policy numbers etc. As soon as possible, write out your account of what happened in the accident and keep this information in a safe place. Cyclists who are hit by a motor vehicle are entitled to compensation through the driver’s insurance company and Ontario accident benefits.

The Ontario Highway Traffic Act is also quite specific when it comes to bicycles.  If it’s a 1/2  hour before sunset or 1/2 hour after sunrise, or anytime there is reduced visibility. By law, every bicycle must be fully equipped with…

  • A working bell or horn (A fine of $85 can be issued if you are cycling without a working bell or horn)
  • A working braking system on the rear wheel (A fine of $85 can be issued if you are cycling without a proper working braking system)
  • A front light (white) (A fine of $20 can be issued if you are cycling without lights)
  • A  rear light (red) or red rear reflector
  • 2 pieces of white reflective tape on front forks
  • 2 pieces of red reflective tape on rear forks

In Ottawa, bicycle helmets must be worn by all cyclists under 16 years of age. A fine of $60.00 can be issued for not wearing a helmet. All helmets must be CSA or CPSC certified. All helmets need to fit properly and close to the head and all bicycle helmet straps need to fit properly under the ears.

A few basic pathway rules are…

  • Cycle on the right of the yellow centre line
  • Be cautious when passing others
  • Always use a bell/voice/horn when passing others
  • Whenever possible use hand turn signals
  • Cycle at a reasonable speed
  • Exercise caution while cycling in the evening. Slow down, wear bright colored clothes and turn on all bicycle lights

Cyclists who do not yield or stop for pedestrians at crosswalks are subject to a $85.00 fine.

Cyclists who do not walk their bikes  at crosswalks are subject to $85.00

The following are not considered to be bicycles and therefore have different laws :

  • Limited speed motorcycles
  • Motor assisted bicycles
  • Segway Transporters
  • Low speed vehicles
  • Motorized scooters
  • Pocket bikes

Please enjoy your day out on your bicycles and ride safely.  Sadly, I meet too regularly with Ottawa bicycle accident victims who have bit hit, doored or suffered serious personal injuries as a result of a cycling accident. Both drivers and cyclists have their role in helping reduce the number of Ottawa cycling accidents.  Let’s work together on this Ottawa !

 


If in an Ontario accident, do you have to provide your insurance information ?

Ontario Accident Insurance Claims

If in an accident, do you have to provide your insurance  information ?  The answer is yes. Section 200 of the Highway Traffic Act states that any person involved in an Ontario accident must, when requested, must provide his/her name, address, driver’s licence number, insurance policy information and ownership information.  This information must also be given to the police and to all witnesses or anyone else who may have been involved in the Ontario accident. Failure to comply with section 200 means that they are guilty of an offence.  On conviction , they can be fined or even imprisoned or have their licence suspended.

What you should do if someone refuses to give you their information.

Should someone refuse to give you their information, try to get as much information as possible and contact the police as soon as possible.   If the driver was uninsured , the police will have access to this type of information. Most likely, the police will charge the other driver.  In terms of Accident Benefits, you will still be covered by your own insurance company, so do not worry. Obviously it goes without saying, never attempt to be forceful with someone, simply write down what information you have and hand it over to police.

If you have been involved in an accident, it’s best you contact an Ottawa personal injury lawyer and together, you can determine what your rights are relating specifically to your accident.  Depending on the accident, nature of injuries, insurance policies and others involved, your options will vary. Experienced personal injury lawyers can help walk you through what you need to do and what you might expect in terms of rehabilitative support and compensation following an accident. Don’t think that every accident and injury is the same and just because your neighbour’s cousin was compensated a certain amount, you will be the same. You owe it to yourself to get informed. Contact our Ottawa personal injury lawyer for a free consultation.