The Highway Traffic Act states that a vehicle is "anything drawn, propelled or driven by any type of power including muscular power." A bicycle is a vehicle.

Therefore, cyclists have the same rights and obligations as any other vehicle driver:

  • Stop at all stop signs and red lights
  • Ride on the right side of the road
  • Signal lane changes, stops and turns
  • Ride on the highway, not the sidewalks
  • Use lights when riding at night
  • Have a bell or horn attached to your bicycle
  • Wear a helmet (if under 18 years)
  • Share the road

The Hamilton Police Service urges you to follow these safety precautions to ensure that you have a safe and enjoyable ride.

It is absolutely crucial to wear a helmet. A serious head injury may cause loss of cognitive or mental capacity.

All cyclists under the age of eighteen years are required by law to wear a helmet while riding or operating a bicycle.

When putting on a helmet, level it over your forehead and adjust the chin strap to fit snugly and comfortably. It should protect the forehead without slipping.

Helmets should comply with CSA safety standards. The following standards are acceptable:  CPSC, ASTM, ANSI, Snell, BS and the AS although some regulations may be out of date.

Bicycle Safety

As cyclists share the road with motorists, knowledge of traffic rules and regulations is essential to personal safety and well-being.
  • Be sure to obey traffic signs and lights
  • Use hand signals to communicate your intentions to motorists
  • Scan the road behind you. Learn to look back over your shoulder without losing balance
  • Make eye contact with motorists
  • Look out for road hazards
  • Dress appropriately for the weather and time of day
  • Use lights at night

Operation Bike Guard

The Hamilton Police Service wishes all cyclists a safe and enjoyable experience on our roads and recreational areas. A bicycle represents a substantial investment and is a popular item of theft. Thousands of lost and stolen bicycles are recovered by the police every year. Most bicycle owners never see their bikes again simply because the owner cannot be located. OPERATION BIKE GUARD was created to assist the police in identifying the owner of found or stolen bicycles and to provide educational tips to the public regarding bicycle theft prevention and safety.

Bicycle owners complete an Operation Bike Guard Identification form and include a photograph of their bicycle. THE OWNER RETAINS THIS INFORMATION IN THE EVENT THEIR BICYCLE IS LOST OR STOLEN. If the bicycle is lost or stolen, the owner brings the completed Bicycle Identification form or envelope into the Hamilton Police Service and file a report.

For more information on Operation Bike Guard, please click here

Related Websites

Canada Safety Council

Related Content

Operation Bike Guard

Ontario Safe Cycling Guide

Helmet Fitting (328 KB)