Share the road. Both cyclists and drivers have rights and responsibilities, and should respect each other's right to share the road.
The Motor Vehicle Act and City by-laws apply to cyclists too.
Cyclists are required to:
- Wear approved bicycle helmets
- Have a front white light and rear red light, if riding after sunset or before sunrise
- Ride on the right, in the same direction as traffic
- NOT ride abreast of another cyclist
- NOT pass on the right, unless in a bike lane or passing a vehicle turning left
- NOT ride on sidewalks
- NOT ride on crosswalks
- Yield when transit buses signal their intention to pull out into traffic
- Put reflective materials on their bicycle and clothing
- Use a bell to alert others
- Ride 1m from the edge of the road or parked cars
- Choose to take up the whole lane when the curb lane is narrow
- Ride in a straight lane
- Use hand signals
- NOT make a left turn from the right side of the road
- NOT wear headphones
Always make hand signals well in advance of any turn, not just when you think they are needed. First, shoulder check, then hand signal, and then, with both hands on the handlebars, shoulder check again before making the turn or the stop.
For your safety and the safety of others, when cycling on roads or trails, please use these hand signals.
A cyclist showing the proper hand signal for a left turn.
A cyclist showing the proper hand signal for a right turn.
A cyclist using the alternative hand signal for a right turn.
A cyclist showing the proper hand signal for stopping
On a bicycle with hand brakes, the front brake accounts for up to 80% of the stopping power during abrupt braking because forward momentum puts most weight over your front wheel. For optimum stopping power, shift your weight towards the rear and try to keep your centre of gravity low and towards the rear wheel. This, in addition to using both brakes, will reduce the tendency for the rear wheel to skid and will increase stability.
It is also important to understand proper lane positioning of cyclists when turning and sharing the road.
When you approach an intersection with several lanes, choose the lane with the arrow pointing in the direction you want to go. You may get cut off by turning cars, if you are not in the appropriate lane. If you cannot make it across traffic to position yourself in the correct lane, you have the choice to dismount and walk in the crosswalk instead. It is illegal to cycle in a crosswalk.
Cyclists are allowed on all highways except designated freeways. Cyclists may also have certain restrictions on bridges or Schedule 1 highways. Events that take place on a provincial highway, like triathlons, parades, rallies, relay races, bicycle races and fundraising events require special permission.
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BC Cycling Regulations, Restrictions & Rules of the Road