Practice safe biking to avoid accidents

Bicycle season is finally here at the Appleby Line area in Burlington. Make sure your road trip is fun and doesn't end in a disaster.

Since January 2014, there have been 127 reports of Motor Vehicle Collisions involving bicycles in the Region of Halton, 56 of those collisions occurred in The City of Burlington. The vast majority of collisions involving cyclists are intersection related, followed by cyclists struck from behind when passing motorists fail to provide them enough room.

Bicycles are considered vehicles as per the Highway Traffic Act and cyclists must abide by the same rules and regulations and drivers. Sharing the road is a responsibility we all must learn to make a priority.

Halton Regional Police officers working in Burlington will be making efforts from now until October, to reduce the number of collisions involving bicycles through awareness, education and enforcement.

The City of Burlington is the only municipality in the Region of Halton that allows cyclists of any age to ride on most sidewalks throughout the City. However, there are exceptions.

• Bicycle riding is prohibited on the sidewalks of both sides of Brant Street between Caroline Street and Lakeshore Road.

• Bicycle riding is also not permitted where there is an alternative off road pathway, Multi-Use Pathway or Bike path available that is adjacent to the sidewalk.

• Bicycle riders on a sidewalk must yield the right of way to any pedestrian and shall operate their bicycle in a safe manner.

All cyclists under the age of sixteen (18) years are required by law to wear a helmet while riding or operating a bicycle, and the chinstrap of the helmet must be securely fastened under the chin (According to the Highway Traffic Act, 104 (2.1).

Under the Highway Traffic Act, a police officer who finds any person contravening this Act or any municipal by-law regulating traffic while in charge of a bicycle may require that person to stop and identify themselves, just as drivers must do during a traffic stop.

Halton Regional Police is committed to ensuring our roads are safe for everyone, reducing the number of collisions is certainly a good start. For some bicycle safety tips from the Halton Regional Police click