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Cycling safety tips and regulations

Cycling road signs

The City of Vancouver is committed to making cycling easier and safer, and is making many improvements for cyclists.

As more cyclists take to the streets, everyone – cyclists and motorists – has to learn to share the road. Cyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as drivers.

The BC Motor Vehicle Act and City Street and Traffic Bylaw apply to bicycles too, so know and obey the rules of the road. 

Ride safely

  • Always come to a full stop at stop signs. Not stopping is illegal under BC's Motor Vehicle Act, and you can be fined $167. Watch the above video to learn more.
  • Never assume that another cyclist, driver, or pedestrian sees you. Make eye contact with other road users.
  • Take care when passing parked cars to leave enough space for drivers and passengers to open car doors.
  • Cycle in traffic safely and predictably. Signal before turning, and learn the skills needed to control your bike.
  • Yield to pedestrians crossing the street, and to buses when they are leaving a stop.
  • Do not ride on sidewalks or crosswalks unless signs posted allow you to. Walk your bicycle on a sidewalk or a crosswalk.
  • Maintain your bike in good working order. Equip it with a warning bell and use front and rear lights on your bicycle after dark, as required by law.
  • Helmets must be worn according to Provincial Law, and safety vests or reflective clothing are recommended. Do not wear headphones that cover both ears.
  • Take extra care when it’s wet because it will take longer for your brakes to grip and stop your bike.
  • Read Bike Sense, a comprehensive BC guide to operating a bike in traffic.

Additional requirements to use electric motor-assisted bicycles

  • Be 16 years and over to operate an electric bicycle.
  • Keep your motor speed below 32 km/h on level ground while you are not pedalling.
  • Do not ride on the seawall and any public path by the water.

Get the complete regulations on how and where to cycle legally

BC Motor Vehicle Act

City of Vancouver Street and Traffic Bylaw

More information about cycling safety

Cycling road signs

Cycling road signs and markings

Find out about the different signs and symbols posted and painted throughout Vancouver that let you know where you can ride your bike safely.

Cycling Safety Study

The Cycling Safety Study includes a comprehensive and objective review of the safety of cycling in Vancouver and an action plan to address each of the identified cycling safety issues. The study was completed in 2014 by Urban Systems, in association the Cycling in Cities Research Program at the University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University, with support from ICBC.

Ask. Tell. Connect.

Phone 3-1-1 to ask, tell, and connect with the City

Outside Vancouver:

Speak your own language

When should you call 9-1-1? Click to find out       Deaf? Have difficulty speaking? Click to learn how to make a TTY call

More ways to contact us

Contact the Bicycle Hotline


Bicycle operator's manual

Download the BikeSense guide to cycling

"BikeSense - the British Columbia bicycle operator's manual" is a guide to the rules of the road, bike handling, traffic skills, and the enjoyment of cycling for life.

Published by the Greater Victoria Cycling Coalition.

Download BikeSense

Why you should store your bike's serial number

Log It or Lose It Program

Log your bicycle’s serial number on the Vancouver Police Department Log It or Lose It form and keep the form somewhere safe.

If your bicycle is ever stolen, you can easily give police the serial number, increasing your chance to get your bicycle back.

Visit the Log It or Lose It webpage

Last modified: Fri, 30 Jan 2015 11:24:44

Cycling road signs and markings