Oxford County's Injury Prevention Team is committed to reducing the number of injuries caused while cycling. Of special concern, are the severe injuries that can result from collision involving cyclists and motor vehicles.
The following information is designed as a guide for both cyclists and motorists alike to "share the road" for the safety of everyone, whether you are on two wheels or four.
Ontario Bicycle Laws (Bill 31) - Effective September 1, 2015
Oxford County’s Injury Prevention Team wants to make sure you know the rules of the road.
Bill 31 is part of the Making Ontario’s Roads Safer Act. The bill contains new laws on the rules of the road for cyclists as well as for motorists about how to make sure our roads are safe for everyone to use.
For Cyclists: Drivers need to keep a one-metre distance when passing cyclists
Higher fines* of $110 who do not have proper lights and reflectors
Higher fines* of $365 and 3 demerit points for opening a door into passing cyclists and traffic
*includes victim fine surcharge and court fee
- Bicycles must have a white/amber light on the front and a red (flashing or solid) light on the back, along with reflectors, whenever being used during times of insufficient light.
- Bicycle riders shall obey the bicycle traffic control signals if they are present.
- Bicycle riding in crosswalks is prohibited.
- Bicycles can be ridden on paved highway shoulders that are divided into two separate roadways.
- Contraflow bike lanes can be present on one-way streets.
- Bicycles may not attach to vehicle/street cars and be towed.
- Motorists shall maintain no less than 1 meter distance from a bicycle when overtaking.
Remember – it is illegal for persons under 18 to not wear a proper bicycle helmet.
Check out www.theywill2.ca to learn more about bicycle helmets and safety.
Share the Road
- Be Safe Be Seen – wear bright coloured clothing. If riding at dusk or night, have reflective strips on clothing, front white light and rear red light.
- When riding on rural roads, ride as close to the edge as possible.
- A cyclist must yield to pedestrians, the same as required of drivers.
- A cyclist is not permitted to ride a bike in a pedestrian crosswalk or crossover, but must walk across with the bike.
- When approaching an intersection, take your turn. Watch for vehicles signalling to turn right.
- Always ride in the same direction as traffic.
- Avoid driving in the blind spot of cars or trucks.
- When riding in town, ride at least 1 meter from the side of the road and from parked cars.
- Be aware of drivers in parked cars opening their doors.
- Pass a bicycle, only when there is room and it is safe to do so. More than one meter must be allowed between the bike and car.
- Be aware that a cyclist may ride in any part of the lane if their safety warrants it.
- When making a right turn, check that you are not cutting off a cyclist.
- When making a left turn, watch for approaching bicycles. They may be going faster than you think.
- When parked on the side of the road, always check for approaching bicycles before opening the car door.
- At railway crossings, stay behind until the cyclist has crossed the tracks.
- Do not stop or drive in a bicycle lane.
More Resources/Tips for you
The County of Oxford's website features a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) mapping tool.
The interactive tourism map allows cyclists to see preferred cycling roads, gravel roads for mountain biking and the location of "Share the road" signs that have been installed.
Cycling Advisory Committee
Oxford County also has a Cycling Advisory Committee. The committee is made up of representatives from each area municipality within Oxford County, including councillors, municipal staff, local police, and members of the cycling community. The Cycling Advisory Committee's role is to foster a bike-friendly community that encourages people to use the bicycle for recreation and as an alternate, environmentally friendly mode of transportation.