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City police address issue of bike riding on downtown sidewalks

North Bay Police Service News Release ********************* As more people turn to bikes as a cheaper and environmentally friendly mode of travel, and students enjoy the freedom of no school, the North Bay Police Service is concerned about bicycle sa
North Bay Police Service
News Release


As more people turn to bikes as a cheaper and environmentally friendly mode of travel, and students enjoy the freedom of no school, the North Bay Police Service is concerned about bicycle safety.

Many parents encourage children to use sidewalks as a safer alternative that offers a buffer from menacing traffic.

This practice is illegal; however children riding on sidewalks in the suburbs do not pose a problem.

Adults riding bicycles on a sidewalk in the suburbs or anyone riding on a sidewalk in the downtown core is a problem.

Bicycles and pedestrians are a dangerous mix. A bike speeding past a walker/runner from behind or head on is as intimidating as a cyclist’s interaction with a motor vehicle.

To facilitate a safer environment for both pedestrians and cyclists, the North Bay Police Service will be initiating a zero tolerance bicycle safety education program.

It will involve concentrated enforcement of the North Bay Bylaws and The Highway Traffic Act as they relate to bicycle operation.

This program will commence immediately.


A bicycle is a vehicle under the Ontario Highway Traffic Act (HTA). This means that, as a bicyclist, you have the same rights and responsibilities to obey all traffic laws as other road users. Cyclists charged for disobeying traffic laws will be subject to a minimum set fine and a Victim Surcharge fine of $20.00 for most offences (please note set fines below are subject to change).

The following are key sections of the HTA concerning cyclists.

HTA 144/136 - Traffic signals and signs
stop for red lights and stop signs and comply with all other signs. Set fine: $85.00

HTA 153 - One-ways streets
ride in the designated direction on one-way streets. Set fine: $85.00

HTA 147 - Slow moving traffic travel on right side
any vehicle moving slower than the normal traffic speed should drive in the right-hand lane, or as close as practicable to the right edge of the road except when preparing to turn left or when passing another vehicle. Set fine: $85.00

HTA 142 - Signalling a turn
before turning, look behind you and signal your turn. Cyclists can use their right arm to signal a right turn. Set fine: $85.00

HTA 140(1) 144(29) - Crosswalks
yield or stop for pedestrians at crosswalks. Set fine: $85.00

HTA 140(6)/144(29) - No riding in crosswalks
walk your bike when crossing at a crosswalk. Set fine: $85.00

HTA 166 - Streetcars
stop two metres behind streetcar doors and wait until passengers have boarded or departed and reached the curb. Set fine: $85.00

HTA 175 (12) - Stopped school buses
stop for stopped school buses when the upper alternating red lights are flashing. Set fine: $400.00

HTA 62(17) - Lights
a bike must have a white front light and a red rear light or reflector if you ride between 1/2 hour before sunset and 1/2 hour after sunrise and white reflective tape on the front forks and red reflective tape on rear forks. Set fine: $20.00

HTA 75 (5) - Bell
a bike must have a bell or horn in good working order. Set fine: $85.00

HTA 64(3) - Brakes
a bike must have at least one brake system on the rear wheel. When you put on the brakes, you should be able to skid on dry, level pavement. Set fine: $85.00

HTA 218 - Identification
Cyclists must stop and identify themselves when required to stop by police for breaking traffic laws. The police officer will ask you for your correct name and address. Set fine: $85.00

HTA Reg. 630 - Expressways
Bicycles are prohibited on expressway / freeway highways such as the 400 series, the QEW, Ottawa Queensway and on roads where "No Bicycle" signs are posted. Set fine: $85.00

HTA 178(2) - Passengers
Passengers are not allowed on a bicycle designed for one person. Set fine: $85.00

HTA 178(1) - Attaching to a vehicle
You are not permitted to attach yourself to the outside of another vehicle or streetcar for the purpose of "hitching a ride." Set fine: $85.00

HTA 104 - Helmets
Every cyclist under the age of eighteen must wear an approved bicycle helmet. Parents or guardians shall not knowingly permit cyclists under sixteen to ride without a helmet. Set fine: $60.00

HTA 179 - Dismounted bicyclist
Cyclists are required to ride on the right-hand side of the road. If you are walking your bike on a highway where there are no sidewalks, you are considered a pedestrian and you should walk on the left-hand side of the road facing traffic. If it is not safe for you to cross the road to face traffic, you may walk your bike on the right-hand side of the road. Set fine: $35.00.
The following are not considered bicycles and are subject to different rules for use:

• Limited-speed motorcycles
• Motor-assisted bicycles (mopeds)
• Low-speed vehicles
• Electric and motorized scooters (go-peds)
• Pocket bikes
• Segway Human/Personal Transporters
For more information on the rules of use for these types of vehicles, please visit