Ontario Highway Traffic Act
The following has been extracted from The Ontario Ministry Of Transportation website ( www.mto.gov.on.ca/ ). We recommend that all members visit this site and read the entire publication on “Cycling Skills”. Remember, ROAD SAFETY, IT STARTS WITH YOU.
A bicycle is a vehicle under the Ontario Highway Traffic Act (HTA). This means that, as a cyclist, you have the same rights and responsibilities to obey all traffic laws as other road users. The following are key sections of the HTA concerning cyclists.
HTA 144/136 -Traffic signals and signs – stop for red lights and stop signs and comply with all other signs.
HTA 153 – One ways streets – ride in the designated direction on one-way streets.
HTA 147 – Slow moving traffic – any vehicle moving slower than the normal traffic speed should drive in the right-hand lane, or as close as practicable to the right edge of the road except when preparing to turn left or when passing another vehicle. For cyclists, you must ride far enough out from the curb to maintain a straight line, clear of sewer grates, debris, potholes, and parked car doors. You may occupy any part of a lane when your safety warrants it. Never compromise your safety for the convenience of a motorist behind you.
HTA 142 – Signalling a turn – before turning, look behind you and signal your turn. Cyclists can use their right arm to signal a right turn.
HTA 140/144(29) – Crosswalks – stop for pedestrians at crosswalks and walk your bike when crossing at a crosswalk.
HTA 166 – Streetcars – stop two metres behind streetcar doors and wait until passengers have boarded or departed and reached the curb.
HTA 175 (12) – Stopped School Buses – stop for stopped school buses when the upper alternating red lights are flashing and the stop arm is out.
HTA 62 – Lights – a bike must have a white front light and a red rear light or reflector if you ride between ½ hour before sunset and ½ hour after sunrise.
HTA 62 (17) – Reflective tape – a bike must have white reflective tape on the front forks and red reflective tape on the rear forks.
HTA 75 (5) – Bell – a bike must have a bell or horn in good working order.
HTA 64 – Brakes – a bike must have at least one brake system on the rear wheel. When you put on the brakes, you should be able to skid on dry, level pavement.
HTA 218 – Identification – Cyclists must identify themselves when stopped by police for breaking traffic laws. The police officer will ask you for your correct name and address.
HTA 185 – Expressways – Bicycles are prohibited on expressway/ freeway highways such as the 400 series, the QEW, Ottawa Queensway and on roads where “No Bicycle” signs are posted.
HTA 178 – Passengers – Passengers are not allowed on a bicycle designed for one person.
HTA 178 – Attaching to a vehicle – You are not permitted to attach yourself to the outside of another vehicle or streetcar for the purpose of “hitching a ride”.
HTA 104 – Helmets – Every cyclist under the age of eighteen must wear an approved bicycle helmet. Parents or guardians shall not knowingly permit cyclists under sixteen to ride without a helmet.
HTA 179 – Dismounted bicyclist – Cyclists are required to ride on the right-hand side of the road. If you are walking your bike on a highway where there are no sidewalks, you are considered a pedestrian and you should walk on the left-hand side of the road facing traffic. If it is not safe for you to cross the road to face traffic, you may walk your bike on the right-hand side of the road.