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In a previous post, we discussed the importance of being an informed cyclist, especially if you ride your bicycle on busy city streets. As cyclists are subject to the Highway Traffic Act (HTA), and bicycles are defined as “vehicles”, meaning they belong on the road and not the sidewalk, cyclists need to be aware that they can actually be charged for committing offences under the HTA, just like a driver of a car can be.
According to the Ministry of Transportation (MTO), a bicycle is defined as a vehicle that has steering handlebars and pedals and does not have a motor (and is differentiated from electric bicycles). Bicycles do not require registration, licence plates, vehicle insurance or for the rider to have a driver’s licence.
A cyclist must share the road with other vehicles (cars, motorcycles, tricks, buses) and cyclist must obey all traffic laws, is subject to the same rights and responsibilities as drivers and cannot carry passengers if the bicycle is meant for only one person.
Other important facts that the MTO wants cyclists to know are that it is very important that cyclists know they must ride their bicycles as close to the right edge of the road whenever possible, especially when travelling slower than the rest of traffic and that there are certain roadways a cyclist is not allowed to ride a bicycle on such as any of the 400-series highways, and on any roadway within a pedestrian crossover. If there is a pedestrian cross-over, a cyclist must walk his/her bicycle to the other side.
It is mandatory for riders under the age of 18 to wear a helmet, but an approved bicycle helmet can greatly reduce the risk of head injury to the rider in the event of a car accident/collision or a fall.
According to the Cycling Death Review of the Office of the Chief Coroner for Ontario, cycling fatalities declined steadily between 2006 and 2009 but rose again in 2010. It was found that three-quarters of cycling deaths occurred in the spring and summer months, with just half occurring in July, August and September. It was also found that fatal cycling collisions most commonly occurred on afternoons and evenings. Other findings of the review included (source: http://www.mcscs.jus.gov.on.ca/english/DeathInvestigations/office_coroner/PublicationsandReports/CyclingDeathReview/DI_Cycling_Death_Review.html):
If you or someone you know has been seriously injured as a result of a bicycle accident or motor vehicle accident, you can contact the lawyers at Aaron Waxman & Associates for a free initial consultation to find out what your rights are as an injured person.
* This blog is for informational purposes only and is not meant to substitute legal advice. Please read our disclaimer for further information.
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