Cycling safely in Golden and on the highways

Bicycles are a popular mode of transportation in Golden.

Some users may cycle for recreation, and some use the bicycle for commuting to and from work.

Whatever the case, there are laws in place that cyclists must follow. The Motor Vehicle Act outlines the rights and duties of bicycle operators in B.C.

Under this act, a person operating a cycle on a highway has the same rights and duties as a driver of a vehicle. People operating a bicycle are not permitted to ride on a sidewalk unless authorized by a bylaw, or otherwise directed by a sign, and must ride as near as practicable to the right side of the highway. They must not ride next to another cyclist on the roadway, must keep at least one hand on the handlebars, cannot ride on anything other than the regular seat of the cycle, and must not carry more persons at one time than the number for which the bicycle was intended. Riders must also not ride a cycle on a highway where signs prohibit their use.

Nothing under the Motor Vehicle Act requires the person to ride a cycle on any part of a highway that is not paved.

When turning left at an intersection, the cyclist must use the left turning lane closest to the right side of the highway, and they must stay in that lane while turning.

Turning signals must also be used while operating a cycle on a highway. A left turn is signalled by using the person’s left hand and arm horizontally from the cycle, and a right turn is indicated by extending the left hand and arm out and upward from the cycle to form a right angle, or by extending the right hand and arm horizontally from the cycle. To indicate a stop or decrease in speed, the cyclist extends their left hand and arm out and down from the cycle on a right angle.

The Town of Golden has a number of bylaws in place that can result in fines. Each of the fines are a $50 penalty, and can be issued for riding a bicycle on a sidewalk, riding double on a bicycle (on handlebars or other ways the bicycle is not intended), riding a bicycle on the street in any way other than single file, riding a bicycle with less than one hand on the handlebar, and riding a bicycle on the highway where prohibited.

Cyclists must wear a helmet that is designated as an approved bicycle safety helmet.

A parent or guardian of a person under the age of 16 commits an offence if they authorize or knowingly permit the person to operate or ride as a passenger on a cycle on a highway without a helmet.

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