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A Bicycle Has The Same Rights As A Car! - Official Legislation for this in Canada was in 1996. It was decreed that all bicycles must abide by the same rules that a motor vehicle does.


Bicycles move too slowly! Get onto the sidewalk!

Actually, bicycles are considered "Slow-Moving Vehicles" by the government and as long as they stay in the right-hand lane, they are obeying the law. (As long as they don't exceed the speed limit, obviously)

But there's only one lane!

The same rules would apply to a slow-moving bicycle as a street-cleaner or a garbage truck. You will have to stay behind the bicycle or find a safe, legal way to pass the bicycle... Just as you would a street-cleaner.

Sometimes I see bikes in the fast lane - isn't that considered "impeding traffic" and therefore illegal?

The law recognizes that bikes are slow-moving vehicles and you should not expect them to meet the speed limit (you probably want to go 10 over the limit anyway, don't you?). Sometimes a bike must change lanes to stay within the bounds of the law - for example, if a bike were to need to turn left at the next intersection, he cannot suddenly swerve through traffic just before the light - he must make a safe and early transition. Up to 500 meters (1/2 a kilometer) is allowed before it is considered excessive and "breaking the law," and this is still subject to the situation (eg: if cars aren't allowing a bicycle to merge when signalling, cars can be charged with dangerous driving for cutting off the bicycle).

But the same rules don't apply! They ride on sidewalks and cross at crosswalks, pretending they're pedestrians one minute and pretending they're a car the next minute!

Though some bicyclists do ride on sidewalks and generally disobey the rules, you, as a motor-vehicle driver, also have the option of driving on sidewalks and crossing red lights, etc... Just because the police choose to not enforce bicyclists isn't the biker's problem.

That's unfair! The cops should enforce bicycle rules just as much as they enforce motor-vehicle rules!

Bicycles are not a priority for policemen. To cite the previous example, if a bike and a car ran a red light, who would you want to be ticketed? Both isn't an option, unless you want taxes to increase to cover the costs of extra policing.

So what you're saying is that I should take the law into my own hands? I'll swerve towards them bikers and knock them off the road until the law is enforced!

Uh... Wrong attitude. There is a lobby group in Ottawa to increase law enforcement against bicyclers, but it isn't big enough to draw attention to itself. You can also write to your local government representative, with free postage - no stamps needed! By all means, call the police department if you see a bicycle breaking the law.

Why don't bicycle riders have to take a test, like drivers do? They have to follow the same rules!

The tests you take at the motor vehicle branch are designed to question your knowledge and aptitude to drive an extremely heavy, lethal object that travels at high speeds and requires a certain amount of skill and technical know-how to operate. The test doesn't so much focus on the trivia and knowledge of what the rules and the signs are, but moreso your ability to process and comprehend the rules while travelling at high speeds in a motor-vehicle. The government determined that a small flimsy bicycle that travels around 20 km/h has a lot more time to make decisions and think about the situation before causing a problem. You can also contact your government representative or lobby to get bicyclers to have to take a test - but once again, to enforce this taxes will have to increase tenfold.

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