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Cyclists and the Highway Traffic Act: Reducing the risk of accidents

united-drivers-training-car-drivers-traffic-highway-act-book-250-200Guest Post by Nga T. DangSinger Kwinter Personal Injury Lawyers

Note: Singer Kwinter will be contributing a few posts to BikingToronto in June in honour of Brain Injury Awareness Month.


During Toronto Bike Month, as well as Brain Injury Awareness Month, it is important to increase awareness regarding laws that cyclists are required to obey.

Accidents between cyclists and motor vehicles typically result in serious injuries and are therefore more likely to result in law suits. In such cases, some fault may be attributed to the cyclist if he or she failed to follow the rules of the road, which can reduce the amount of damages that he or she would otherwise have been entitled to.

To reduce the risk of accidents and avoid being found partially at fault, it is important to keep in mind that cyclists are required to follow the same road laws that motor vehicles are required to follow under the Highway Traffic Act because bicycles are “vehicles” under the Act. Under the Highway Traffic Act, the following are some of the rules cyclists must obey:

  • Stop at stop signs and red lights and obey all other traffic signals;
  • Right-of-way determines who goes through an intersection first;
  • Stop behind street car doors when they open;
  • Stop behind stopped school buses;
  • Pass slower vehicles by riding to the left of it (do not pass on the right side of a right-turning
  • vehicle);
  • Ride in the designated direction on one-way streets;
  • Signal all turns;
  • As the slower vehicle, cyclists should generally ride in the right-hand lane or as close as practicable to the right hand curb or edge for the roadway, unless they are turning left or passing other vehicles.

For more information on cycling rules refer to Cycling Skills: Ontario’s Guide to Safe Cycling: http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/pubs/cycling-guide/pdfs/cycling-guide.pdf

For more information about head injuries, check out The Brain Injury Society of Toronto’s “Are You Aware” campaign supporting Brain Injury Awareness Month in Ontario.

  • BikerFamily

    Imagine how safe the roads would be if ALL cars and bikes obeyed these laws!