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Bicycle and Helmet Safety

Cycling is the most popular outdoor activity among young Canadians. Unfortunately, every year 50,000 children are seriously injured in bike related mishaps. Wearing a certified helmet can reduce the risk of serious head injuries by 85 per cent.

Children and youth (under 18) are required by law to wear a helmet with the chin strap clip fastened under the chin when cycling. Kids imitate their parents. Ninety-eight per cent of children will wear their helmets if their parents do, so wear one every time you ride.

Before age ten, most children do not have the skills to cycle safely on the road and they need help to make good choices. Children under nine years should cycle with responsible adults at all times

My York Region Cycling Story Videos






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Bike Inspection

Begin each cycling season and each ride with a complete bike inspection. If your bike is not in perfect shape take it to a bike shop for a check-up. Check for:

  • Size of bike: Make sure your bike is the proper size. A bike that is too big or too small will be hard to control. You should be able to comfortably straddle the bike frame while standing flat footed on the ground. There should be at least a 2-3 inch gap between you and the top bar
  • Tire Pressure: Make sure your tires are properly inflated
  • Chain: Check the bike's chain to make sure it's clean and lubricated
  • Brakes: Check your brakes for even pressure. They should make your back wheels skid on dry pavement, but you don't want brakes that stick
Bicycle,cycling,bicycle safety,helmets,bike inspection The Regional Municipality of York en-US

Components of a Safe Bike

Some bicycle equipment is required by law, while other equipment is recommended.

Required Equipment

  • Helmet: Cyclists under 18 are required by law to wear a helmet when cycling. The helmet has to be on your head and the chin strap clip must be fastened under the chin. Does your helmet fit properly?  Check our helmet fit brochure and see
  • Light and reflector: If you ride 30 minutes before sunset and/or 30 minutes before sunrise, you need a white light (not just a reflector) and a red rear reflector or red rear light
  • Bell or horn: A bell or horn that works must be attached to the bike
  • Reflective tape: White reflective tape on the front forks, red reflector tape on the front and rear stay

Recommended Equipment

  • Basket: Having a basket lets you keep your hands free for steering
  • Water Bottle: A water bottle and cage allow you to stay hydrated
  • Shoes: When cycling, wear shoes that cover your toes and back of your foot like running shoes
  • Bright Clothing: Reflective and bright clothing make you more visible to drivers when riding in the dark
  • Eyewear: Protective eyewear can keep the sun, bugs and wind from blinding you
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Traffic Laws and Fines

Your bicycle is considered a vehicle and falls under the jurisdiction of the Highway Traffic Act (HTA)  The following are just some of the offences you could be fined for under the HTA:

  • Improper bicycle lighting: $20
  • Improper or no helmet (under 18): $60
  • Parent/guardian knowingly permit person under 16 – no helmet: $60
  • No bell/ no horn: $85
  • Ride in or along crosswalk: $85
  • Ride two on a bicycle: $85
  • Attachment to vehicle: $85
  • Disobey stop sign – fail to stop: $85
  • Fail to signal for turn: $85
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External Websites

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Contact Us

  • Health Connection

  • 1-800-361-5653

  • Cycling

  • 1-877-464-9675 Ext. 75564

  • Accessibility

    Accessible formats or communication supports are available upon request

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