Bicycles are vehicles under the HTA – virtually all rules under the HTA that apply to motor vehicles also apply to bicycles.
1 Obey all HTA traffic rules, including stopping at traffic signs, traffic lights and right of way conventions and rules.
2 Beyond legal considerations, prudence and common sense should always prevail. A cyclist will never win a dispute with a motor vehicle regardless of who is right.
3 as slower moving vehicles, cyclists must move as far to the right as they safely can to facilitate the space to allow a faster vehicle to pass safely (Sec. 147(6))
4 The HTA does not explicitly prohibit side by side (two-abreast) cycling. In fact, a cyclist who is passing another cyclist should be considered as acting within the law. However, Sections 148(2) and 148(6) can reasonably be interpreted as forbidding the practice under certain circumstances.
5 Road conditions (potholed, eroded; with debris and other obstacles) and traffic conditions (high volume or high speed traffic) may dictate single file is best.
6 Riding three or more abreast is never a good idea and is contrary to the policy of the Oshawa Cycling Club. A diagonal echolon is not permitted even under windy conditions.
7 bicycles must be equipped with a bell, gong or horn to notify pedestrians of their approach (Sec. 75(5))
8 cyclists shall use hand signals to alert others of changes in direction (Sec. 142(4))
9 When crossing a road at a crosswalk, a cyclist is required to dismount and walk across the crosswalk.
10 Riding on sidewalks may or may not be legal. Some municipalities have passed bylaws that regulate when or if you may ride on the sidewalk based either on geography (Oshawa) or size of bicycle (Toronto). Whitby has no bylaw and hence sidewalk riding is technically contrary to the HTA.
11 Regardless of the law, most cyclists find that riding on sidewalks is dangerous both to themselves and to pedestrians. The exception is for young children who do not have the experience, skill or attention span for riding on roadways and should remain on the sidewalk regardless of the law!
12 Ride predictively. This means that you should avoid weaving in and out of traffic – if there are parked cars or other obstacles in front of you, ride straight ahead as far to the right as is safe; do not weave in and out.
13 Be wary of parked cars. One of the main sources of bicycle accidents is being “doored” when a car door opens directly in front of the cyclist’s path.
14 Take the lane when necessary to avoid unsafe conditions. Notwithstanding the requirement for slower traffic to keep to the right, a bicyclist is not required to ride through potholes, broken pavement and other obstacles that would make his/her progress unsafe. So, signal your intention and move over to avoid the unsafe roadway! The inconvenience of a motorist is not a consideration when your safety is at stake.
15 Do not pass a motor vehicle on the right. Get into line with the rest of the vehicles at a stop sign or light. When approaching a right-turning motor vehicle from behind, either stay behind or, if safe to do so, pass on the left.
16 Intersections are among the most dangerous places for cyclists. In this context, intersections include driveways and alleyways. Leave at least one metre between yourself and the curb as a cushion. Where the road or lane is narrow, take the lane to block a motor vehicle from creating a dangerous situation by moving along side. This is particularly important where the vehicle behind you may be making a right turn.
17 Cyclists must yield to pedestrians at crosswalks.