Motor Vehicle Act & Cyclists

Operating a bicycle on a road falls under the Motor Vehicle Act. Cyclists use the same roads, follow the same rules, and have the same rights as motorists. In addition to the rules of the road, as outlined elsewhere in the Act, there is also a separate section 183, "Rights and duties of operator of cycle", that is specific to cyclists:  

183 (1) In addition to the duties imposed by this section, a person operating a cycle on a highway has the same rights and duties as a driver of a vehicle.

(2) A person operating a cycle

(a) must not ride on a sidewalk unless authorized by a bylaw made under section 124 or unless otherwise directed by a sign,

(b) must not, for the purpose of crossing a highway, ride on a crosswalk unless authorized to do so by a bylaw made under section 124 or unless otherwise directed by a sign,

(c) must, subject to paragraph (a), ride as near as practicable to the right side of the highway,

(d) must not ride abreast of another person operating a cycle on the roadway,

(e) must keep at least one hand on the handlebars,

(f) must not ride other than on or astride a regular seat of the cycle,

(g) must not use the cycle to carry more persons at one time than the number for which it is designed and equipped, and

(h) must not ride a cycle on a highway where signs prohibit their use.

(3) Nothing in subsection (2) (c) requires a person to ride a cycle on any part of a highway that is not paved.

(4) Despite section 165, a person operating a cycle who intends to turn it to the left at an intersection where there is more than one lane from which left turns are permitted must

(a) cause the cycle to approach the intersection in the lane closest to the right side of the highway from which a left turn is permitted,

(b) keep the cycle to the right of the line that divides the lane referred to in paragraph (a) from the lane immediately to the left of that lane,

(c) after entering the intersection, turn the cycle to the left so that it will leave the intersection to the right of the line referred to in paragraph (b), and

(d) when practicable, turn the cycle in the portion of the intersection to the left of the centre of the intersection.

(5) A person must not ride a cycle, skate board, roller skates, in-line roller skates, sled, play vehicle or other similar means of conveyance when it is attached by the arm and hand of the rider or otherwise to a vehicle on a highway.

(6) A cycle operated on a highway between ½ hour after sunset and ½ hour before sunrise must have the following equipment:

(a) a lighted lamp mounted on the front and under normal atmospheric conditions capable of displaying a white light visible at least 150 m in the direction the cycle is pointed;

(b) a red reflector of a make or design approved by the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia for the purposes of this section;

(c) a lighted lamp, mounted and visible to the rear, displaying a red light.

(7) Despite any other provision of this Act or the regulations, a cycle may be equipped with a flashing red light that is of a make or design approved by the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia for the purposes of this section.

(8) A cycle operated on a highway must be equipped with a brake that will enable the person operating the cycle to make the braked wheels skid on dry, level and clean pavement.

(9) If an accident occurs by which a person or property is injured, directly or indirectly, owing to the presence or operation of a cycle on a highway or a sidewalk, the person in charge of the cycle must

(a) remain at or immediately return to the scene of the accident,

(b) render all possible assistance, and

(c) give to anyone sustaining loss or injury his or her name and address and the name and address of the owner of the cycle, and if the cycle has been licensed and registered, the licence or registration number of the cycle.

(10-13) [Repealed 2008-42-83.]

(14) A person must not operate a cycle

(a) on a highway without due care and attention or without reasonable consideration for other persons using the highway, or

(b) on a sidewalk without due care and attention or without reasonable consideration for other persons using the sidewalk.

(15) If a person is convicted of an offence under this Act in respect of his or her riding or operating a cycle, the court may, in addition to or in place of any penalty otherwise prescribed, order the cycle seized, and on the expiry of that period the person entitled to it may again have possession of the cycle.

(16) For the purpose of seizing and impounding a cycle under an order made under subsection (15), a peace officer may enter any place or building in which the cycle is located.

(17) A person operating a cycle on a highway must signify

(a) a left turn by extending the person's left hand and arm horizontally from the cycle,

(b) a right turn by doing either of the following:

(i) extending the person's left hand and arm out and upward from the cycle so that the upper and lower parts of the arm are at right angles;

(ii) extending the person's right hand and arm horizontally from the cycle, and

(c) a stop or decrease in speed by extending the person's left hand and arm out and down from the cycle.