Motorcycling and Cycling
As a motorcyclist or cyclist you have the same rights and duties as motorists. However drivers often fail to see motorcyclists and cyclists due to their smaller size. For your own safety, you must be extra cautious and vigilant and be sure you are seen.
A few general safety tips motorcyclists should practice:
- For new riders consider taking a safety course approved by the Ministry of Transportation http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/driver/motorcycle-safety-courses.shtml
- Wear an approved helmet and suitable protective ride gear
- Ride predictably and defensively;
- Ensure you Motorcycle is in good working order with inspection of lights, brakes, tires, etc.
Group Riding Safety
Although there are no specific rules or regulation under the Highway Traffic Act of Ontario governing Motorcycle group riding size, if you are going to be doing regular Club rides with large groups of riders, you may want to consider the following safety tips. Have a group/riders meeting ahead of time and set the ground rules for the day of your ride. (Note: This riders meeting should be done by someone with considerable group riding experience)
- Divide a large group of riders into several smaller groups. Have them leave at staggered times to the same destination. This will be less intimidating to novice riders and safer for other road users as well;
- Ride in a staggered formation;
- Keep safe and proper following distance between motorcycles
- No passing within the lane.
- Have standardize a few basic hand signals for slow down, debris on the road, etc.
See the Ontario Ministry of Transportation website for more information on Motorcycling Safety.
Remember a bicycle is considered to be a vehicle, and as a cyclists you must follow the rules of the road. The Ontario Highway Traffic Act and Parking Bylaw require that cyclists:
- Stop at all stop signs and red lights.
- Use proper hand signals for lane changes, turns and stops.
- Drive/ride on the right side of the road
- Drive/ride only in the designated direction on one-way streets.
- Share the road with other users
- Use lights when driving/riding at night
- Have a bell or horn on your bike
- Wear a helmet (required if under 18 years old)
- Do not ride on the sidewalk
Cycling Safety Tips:
Ride predictably and defensively, remembering to give pedestrians the right-of-way;
- Ride in a straight line at least one meter from the curb or parked cars. You may occupy any part of a lane when your safety warrants it;
- Make your presence felt. Wear bright colour clothing. At night or in inclement weather, it is important to use reflective lights in the front, side and rear that make you visible from all directions;
- Do not run stop signs or red lights or use the wrong side of the street. It is best and safest to ride single file;
- Make eye contact with drivers whenever possible. This ensures that the motorists see you and helps you assert your rightful place on the road;
- Make sure you are always aware of your surroundings. Know what is behind you and watch out for what is in front of you;
- Make sure your brakes are always in top-notch condition. Be aware of how weather and road conditions can affect your ability to brake.
- By law, every cyclist under 18 years of age must wear an approved helmet. Riders under 16 years old: a parent is responsible to ensure their child wears a helmet. Helmets are not compulsory for adults over 18 years of age, but a helmet can reduce the risk of death if you fall or have a collision.
Purchasing the proper helmet
- Make sure when you place it on your head it does not move around when your head moves.
- It must sit at least two fingers above your eyebrows on your forehead
- You must be able to securely place no more than two fingers in between your chin and the strap
- Always replace your helmet every five years even if there is no noticeable damage
- Do not wear a hat under your helmet, you can buy helmets with visors and you may wear sunglasses.
Riding Tips for the Pathways
Keep to the right
Pass other users only when safe.
- Keep under the courtesy limit of 20 km/h; please use the road if you want to go faster
- Use your bell or voice to warn others when you pass. Shoulder-check to see if the way is clear.
- Pull off the pathway when stopped.
See the Ontario Ministry of Transportation website for more information on Cycling Safety. http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/safety/bicycle-safety.shtml