Bicycle safety rules: police issue a reminder

Peterborough, ON, Canada / CHEX TV

Peterborough police issued a reminder to cyclists Wednesday about that laws that require them to obey traffic signs as well as to wear a helmet.

According to provincial law, every cyclist under 18 must wear an approved bicycle helmet. The fine for not wearing one is $75. That means, for cyclists under 16 years old, it’s up to the parent or guardian to make sure the child wears a helmet.  Children are also required Ato wear an approved bicycle helmet when riding in a child carrier or a bicycle trailer.


Adults, on the other hand, are exempt from the helmet requirement . . . although police say a helmet can greatly reduce the risk of permanent injury or death if you fall or collide.

When purchasing a helmet, police suggest you look for the safety standards sticker meeting the approval of safety organizations such as the Canadian Standards Association (CSA), Snell, ANSI, ASTM, BSI, CPSC and SAA.

Lighting-wise, the law requires riders to use a white front light and a red rear light or reflector when riding between one-half hour before sunset and one-half hour after sunrise. As well, the law requires white reflective strips on the front forks and red reflective strips on the rear stays.
And, as a cyclist, you must share the road with others (e.g., cars, buses, trucks, motorcycles, etc.).

Then, there are the rules under Ontario’s Highway Traffic Act (HTA), where a bicycle is considered a vehicle, just like a car or truck.


  • must obey all traffic laws
  • have the same rights and responsibilities as drivers
  • cannot carry passengers – if your bicycle is only meant for one person


The Peterborough Police Service offers a free bicycle licence service to help increase the chances of having your bicycle returned to you if it is lost or stolen. You can either register in-person at one of our police stations, or online.  In order to register online, you must first obtain a licence sticker. Licence stickers can be obtained at bicycle retailers or at the front counter of the Peterborough Police Service headquarters at any time, 365 days a year. For more information or to register your bike online please visit  Peterborough Police Free Bicycle Registration

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