Source: Ministry of Transportation, Ontario
Cycling is a fun and healthy activity, it's a low-cost way to get around, and it's good for the environment.
Before you head out on a bike, learn the rules of the road, helmet information and safety tips for cyclists of all ages.
Learn more about safe cycling:
What is a bicycle?
A bicycle, or bike, is a vehicle that:
- has one, two or three wheels (a unicycle, bicycle or tricycle)
- has steering handlebars and pedals
- does not have a motor. For motor-assisted bikes, read about electric bicycles or scooters and mopeds
Licence and registration
Bicycles do not require:
- licence plates
- vehicle insurance
- a driver's licence
People of all ages can ride a bike.
Rules of the road
As a cyclist, you must share the road with others (e.g., cars, buses, trucks, motorcycles, etc.).
Under Ontario's Highway Traffic Act (HTA), a bicycle is a vehicle, just like a car or truck.
- must obey all traffic laws
- have the same rights and responsibilities as drivers
- cannot carry passengers - if your bicycle is only meant for one person
Riding on the right
You must stay as close to the right edge of the road whenever possible, especially if you're slower than other traffic.
Where you can ride
You can ride on most roads, except:
- controlled access highways, such as Ontario's 400-series highways
- across a road within a pedestrian cross-over - you must walk your bike to the other side
Children and youth
By law, every cyclist under age 18 must wear an approved helmet.
Riders under 16 years old: a parent or guardian must make sure their child wears a helmet.
Helmets are not compulsory for adults over 18; but a helmet can greatly reduce the risk of permanent injury or death if you fall or collide. It is strongly recommended that all riders wear helmets.
Types of helmets
The best helmets:
- are made to meet strict safety standards
- fit properly when worn correctly
Bicycle safety resources
For more information about cycling safety, check out: