About the Program
Bicycling is one of the easiest ways to exercise and helps promote your physical and emotional health. Bergmanis Preyra, Personal Injury Lawyers, understands the benefits of biking and the need to ride safely.
We have provided legal assistance and support for many cyclists over the years and we know that most bicycling injuries are 100% preventable with proper training and equipment. In Ontario, many people ride bicycles as a means of transportation and for recreational purposes. It is estimated that almost 20,000 people ride their bikes to work every day in the City of Toronto.
To help raise awareness and educate motorists and cyclists, we have created the Community Safe Street Program. The program is aimed to educate cyclists of the proper equipment, applicable rules and laws, and tips to stay safe while cycling.
To kick off this new program we are giving away brand new bikes and helmets (estimated value $500). For your chance to win visit the “Community Safe Streets Program Bike Giveaway” blog post or visit a participating location before May 31, 2015, to fill out a ballot.
The winner will be chosen on Friday June 5, 2015 and be contacted by phone.
Here is a list of important equipment to wear:
Helmet ($60.00 fine)
- It is the law in Ontario that any rider under that age of 18 years old must be wearing an approved bicycle helmet
- Ensure proper fit of your helmet
- Should fit level on your head
- Should not move as you shake your head
- Chin strap should fit flat against your face and should fit snug (no more than one finger should be able to fit between your chin and the strap)
- Between sunset and sunrise, it is the law in Ontario that bicycles have a white light on the front and a red light (or reflector) on the back ($20.00 fine)
- Ensure your bike has white reflective tape on frame near the front wheel and red reflective tape on the frame near the back wheel ($20.00 fine)
- Ensure your bike has reflectors in the pedals ($20.00 fine)
- To increase visibility, riders can always add reflective material to their helmet and clothing
Bell or Horn ($85.00 fine)
- To ensure other cyclists, pedestrians and vehicles can hear you, it is the law in Ontario to have a bell or horn on your bicycle.
- Wearing clothing that makes you most visible is extremely important when riding a bicycle. Wear colours such as white and yellow to stand out and avoid dark colours, especially at night time.
Follow the Rules
Under the Ontario Highway Traffic Act (HTA), bicycles are considered vehicles, which mean riders need to follow the same rules as drivers
- Obey traffic signs and signals ($85.00 fine)
- Ride in a straight line (don’t swerve in and out of lanes)
- Check over your shoulder
- Use hand signals ($85.00 fine)
There are numerous ways a bicyclist can prevent injury. Here are some of our top ways to avoid injury while riding a bike:
- It is very important to wear an approved helmet, which is properly fitted to avoid serious brain injury.
- You should always obey the law when riding a bicycle.
- Be sure to use proper hand signals so vehicles can predict your next turn.
- Make yourself as visible as possible. For example: wave your arm, use a horn or bell if a driver can’t see you when they are pulling out of a driveway.
- Slow down if you can’t make eye contact with a driver – assume that driver’s don’t see you. Slow down to a point that you can stop if need be.
- Ride to the left of the bicycle lane if you are in an area with a large amount of parked cars. This will help prevent you from running into an opened door.
- In Toronto it is against the law for anyone over the age of 14 to ride on sidewalks. A fine of $60.00 is set for any adult that rides their bicycle on the sidewalk.
- Don’t ride against traffic: it is against the law. Cars will approach you at a much higher relative speed, cars pulling out of driveways or parking lots don’t expect to see traffic coming the wrong way.
- At a red light don’t stop in a vehicle’s blind spot because if they turn right they can turn right into you.
- Glance in your mirror before approaching an intersection (mirror on your handlebar or helmet) because many times drivers want to pass you and turn right in front of you thinking you aren’t going fast enough for them to hit you.
- Pass other cyclists on the left and announce “on your left” because if they turn left they will turn into you.
- Ride behind slow moving vehicles and not in their blind spot.
- Look behind you when turning right.
- Don’t swerve in and out of the parking lane if it contains any parked cars as this puts you in risk of getting rear ended.
- Watch for and avoid road hazards like potholes, broken glass, gravel, puddles, etc.
- Choose wide streets.
- Choose slow streets.
- Use back streets on weekends.
- Keep both hands ready to brake.
- Do not carry passengers on your bicycle if it is meant for one person.