Bicycle Safety & Theft Prevention
Be safe on and off the road.
Bicycle Riding is Fun, Healthy and a Great Way to Be Independent
But it's important to remember that a bicycle is not a toy - a bicycle is a vehicle under The Highway Traffic Act that comes with respnsibity for the cyclist as well as other road users.
Cyclists can also take steps to prevent their bicycles from being stolen.
Bicycle Safety Starts WithYou
Before You Ride
- Check your equipment and make sure your bike is operating properly and has a working bell or horn
- Inflate all tires properly and check to ensure your brakes are working properly and everything is secure
- Have a white light on the front and a red light or reflector at the rear, especially if you plan to ride at night
- Adjust your bicycle to fit: when you stand over your bicycle there should be 2.5 - 5 cm (1 to 2 inches) between you and the top tube (bar) if using a road bicycle and 7.4 - 10 cm (3 to 4 inches) if using a mountain bicycle. The seat should be level front to back. The seat height should be adjusted to allow a slight bend at the knee when the leg is fully extended. The handlebar height should be at the same level with the seat
- Wear brightly coloured neon/fluorescent clothing when riding during the day or night (note: wearing white has not been shown to make you more visible)
- Ensure you have a properly fitted helmet - as required by The Highway Traffic Act, 104 2.1, cyclists under the age of eighteen years MUST wear a helmet while riding or operating a bicycle, and the chinstrap of the helmet must be securely fastened under the chin
- At night, wear something that reflects light, such as reflective tape or markings, or flashing lights. Remember, just because you can see a driver, it does not mean the driver can see you
- Use bike lanes whenever possible. If no bike lanes are available, ride about 1 meter from the curb in a straight line; look well ahead to avoid hazards such as potholes, sewer grates, debris and people opening car doors
- Use caution when turning a corner as most collisions happen at intersections
- Perform a shoulder check and signal before turning or changing lanes and try to make eye contact with drivers
- Register your bicycle on the internet at www.torontopolice.on.ca and retain the information found at the bottom of this form.
- Always lock your bicycle when not in use by placing a chain or cable through both wheels and the frame attached to a stationary object. Use a proper bicycle rack whenever possible and keep your lock away from the ground.
- For added security, take the seat with you if it is fitted with a quick release mechanism or use a second, good quality lock that is of a different design than the first one as it will generally discourage/slow down a thief.
- Remove the bicycle rack from your vehicle when not in use. A bicycle rack on a vehicle can attract bike thieves to your home. The more expensive the bike rack, the more attractive to a thief.
- Remove any item, such as a saddle bag that you don’t want stolen when leaving the bike unattended.
- Ensure that any quick release wheels are secured by a chain, cable or lock.
- Keep your bike locked and out of sight when storing it at home.
- If your bike is stolen, report it to Police immediately and include your serial number.
- Place your signature on a piece of paper and have it laminated -then roll it up and put it inside your handlebars or inside your seat post. This can help you identify or recover a lost/stolen bike
- KEEP a copy of your sales receipt
Under The Law
- Your bicycle must be “fit for the road”. Make sure your lights, horn or bell,reflective tape, brakes and other components are in good working order and comply with The Highway Traffic Act.
- A cyclist must stop for a Police Officer and identify themselves if requested to do so according to Section 218(1) of The Highway Traffic Act. If the cyclist refuses to identify themselves, the Police Officer may arrest the cyclist until identification (name and address) is provided.
To report a crime anonymously, call Crime Stoppers at: 1-800-222-8477(TIPS), online at 222tips.com or text TOR and your message to CRIMES (274637)
In an emergency, call 9-1-1
To report a crime to the Toronto Police that is not an emergency, call 416-808-2222