In the summertime, biking is a great activity to stay healthy and enjoy the outdoors.
Remember these tips:
- Make sure that you wear a bicycle helmet! A helmet will protect your head in case you fall off your bike. But helmets only protect your head! You have to use your head to prevent other injuries.
- Riding a bike is like driving a car. You must obey all the rules of the road. Make sure you know them, they could save your life.
- Talk to others with your hands.Hand signals let cars and people know what you plan to do. Are you going to stop? Are you going to turn? Check it out and get your signals straight!!
- Your bike is considered a vehicle on the road.
- Make sure you stop at the end of alleyways and before crossing the street. Many accidents happen when kids fail to stop and look both ways for cars.
- Remember to wear bright or reflective clothing especially at night. If someone in a car cannot see you, they won't know you are there!
Think safety first and enjoy the ride!
A bicycle is a vehicle. The Highway Traffic Act defines a vehicle as "anything drawn, propelled or driven by any type of power including muscular power"
All cyclists under the age of eighteen years are required by law to wear a helmet while riding or operating a bicycle, and the chinstrap of the helmet must be securely fastened under the chin. (According to the Highway Traffic Act, 104 2.1)
The Highway Traffic Act of Ontario states:
218 (1) A police officer who finds any person contravening this Act or any municipal by-law regulating traffic while in charge of a bicycle may require that person to stop and to provide identification of himself or herself
(2) Every person who is required to stop, by a police officer acting under subsection (1), shall stop and identify himself or herself to the police officer
(3) For the purposes of this section, giving one's correct name and address is sufficient identification
(4) A police officer may arrest without warrant any person who does not comply with subsection (2)
- Be a responsible cyclist
- Wear a Helmet
- Night riders should have a white light to the front and a red light or reflector to the rear
- Dress brightly to be seen
- When turning at intersections, be careful; most collisions occur at intersections
- Ride about 1 metre from the curb in a straight line; look well ahead and avoid hazards such as potholes, sewer grates and debris
- Shoulder check and signal before turning or changing lanes
Cycling Safety Tips
- Obey traffic signs and signals. Bicycles must follow the rules of the road like other vehicles.
- Never ride against traffic. Motorists aren't looking for cyclists riding on the wrong side of the road. Provincial law and common sense require that cyclists drive like other vehicles.
- Follow lane markings. Don't turn left from the right lane. Don't ride straight through a lane marked "right-turn only."
- Avoid passing on the right. Motorists may not look for or see a bicycle passing on the right.
- Scan the road behind you. Learn to look back over your shoulder without losing your balance or swerving.
- Keep both hands ready to brake/turn. You may not stop in time if you brake one-handed. Allow extra distance for stopping in the rain, since brakes are less efficient when wet. Turns are not always planned events so having your hands ready to respond is paramount.
- Wear a helmet and never ride with headphones.
- Dress for the weather. In rain, wear a poncho or waterproof suit. Dress in layers so you can adjust to temperature changes. Wear bright-colored clothing.
- Use hand signals. Hand signals tell motorists and pedestrians what you intend to do. Signal as a matter of law, of courtesy, and of self-protection.
- Choose the best way to turn left. There are two choices: (1) Like an auto: signal to move into the left turn lane and then turn left. (2) Like a pedestrian: Walk your bike across.
- Make eye contact with drivers. Assume that other drivers don't see you until you are sure that they do.
- Look out for road hazards. Watch out for parallel-slat sewer grates, gravel, sand or debris. Cross railroad tracks at right angles.
- Use lights at night. The law requires a white headlight and a rear reflector or taillight. Reflective tape is also required both front and rear.
- Keep your bike in good repair. Adjust your bike to fit you and keep it working properly. Check brakes and tires regularly. Routine maintenance is simple and you can learn to do it yourself.
- Register your bike and your local police station
- Always lock your bicycle when not in use
- Lock your bicycle by placing a chain or cable through both wheels and the frame and attach around a stationary object
- If your bike is stolen, report the loss to the police immediately