Safety Tips and Regulations
The City of Richmond is committed to ensuring that cycling is a safe and practical transportation choice. Visit City Bicycle Planning for more information on the City's plans to provide an expanded cycling network with safe and comfortable routes throughout the city.
Safety is Everyone's Responsibility
All road users - motorists and cyclists - must share the road. When riding on the road, cyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as motorists. The following tips can enhance your safety on the road.
Obey Traffic Signals and Signs: always come to a complete stop at stop signs.
Avoid the Door Zone: leave enough space (at least 1 metre) when passing parked vehicles in case the driver or a passenger opens a door.
Yield: to pedestrians crossing the street and to buses departing from a stop.
Bicycle Lights: are required by law between dawn and dusk and recommended during times of low visibility. Reflective clothing and materials on your bike can also enhance visibility as shown in the adjacent photograph.
Stay Off Sidewalks: do not ride on sidewalks or in crosswalks unless otherwise directed by a sign. Cyclists may ride in crosswalks with special "elephant's feet" markings.
Hand Signals: signal before turning and make eye contact to ensure other road users see you. Always do a shoulder check for traffic before you signal a turn. The correct sequence is:
- Keep both hands on the handlebars and scan backwards over your left shoulder for traffic.
- If the way is clear, signal and proceed with the turn, and keep shoulder checking for approaching traffic or change in traffic patterns.
- If traffic will obstruct the turn, wait until the way is clear, then check again and if clear, proceed following Points 1 and 2 above.
Passing a Cyclist: motorists should leave a margin of at least 1 metre. On a multi-lane road, drivers should change lanes rather than risk crowding the cyclist.
Helmet Use: in BC, all cyclists are required by law to wear an approved helmet.
Got Wheels? Get a Helmet! Checklist shows how to fit and wear your helmet.
Electric-Assist Bicycles and Scooters
Section 182.1 of the Motor Vehicle Act enables adults 16 years of age and older to use a bicycle with a small electric motor (a motor-assisted cycle or e-bike) without requiring a special licence. ICBC has a Fact Sheet that details regulations and requirements for e-bikes as well as motorized scooters and skateboards. Learn more about the City's E-Scooter Pilot Project.
In summer 2021, the City amended its bylaws to establish a maximum 15 km/h speed limit for pedal bikes, e-bikes and electric kick scooters (e-scooters) on pathways shared with pedestrians. Signage has been installed on pathways including the Railway Greenway and the Imperial Landing Park network.
Motor Vehicle Act and Regulations
Cyclists may ride on most roads except for certain restricted provincial highways and tunnels as per Motor Vehicle Act Regulations. Cyclists are required to ride on the sidewalks of certain designated bridges. The full cycling-specific legal requirements of the Motor Vehicle Act are found in Sections 182.1, 183 and 184.