A cyclist is required to abide by the rules of the road. The laws apply in a similar manner if you are driving a motor vehicle or a bicycle. However, in Toronto, there is a one-meter distance requirement for motor vehicles as they pass a cyclist. If a driver is coming too close to that cyclist, they can be fined and could have points off their license.
There are also “dooring” laws in Ontario. As a motor vehicle driver, you have to be cautious when exiting your vehicle as to not hit a passing cyclist. You could be subject to fines if you “door” a cyclist. It is important to stay updated on these regulations as they may have an impact on your case should you ever have to file a claim after an accident. Knowing the importance of traffic laws in bicycle accidents cases in Toronto is essential, and a skilled bicycle accident lawyer can help to keep you updated.
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Staying Updated on Laws
Big changes to bicycle laws in Toronto are usually covered in the media. There is also access to the Ontario government web pages or websites. Researching online will lead a person to the Ontario government webpages that deal specifically with these types of laws.
It is difficult to say how often traffic laws regarding bicycles get updated in Toronto. It is largely to do with political will. If there are a lot of bicycle accidents or situations that arise where there are newsworthy events that a cyclist is injured by a motor vehicle, then that can have a significant impact in terms of the political will to change those laws.
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Out of State Cyclists
The city of Toronto is a very cyclist friendly environment. There are a lot of citywide bike lane and bike paths. There is not any specific danger that a person needs to be mindful of other than the occasional crazy driver. They exist in every state and province and city. It is important for out of state cyclists to recognize the regulations of the area they are intending to cycle in, as they could be potentially different from where they are used to cycling in and that violation of the law could contribute to the negligence they will be investigated for later on.
If a person is from Toronto and is injured in Toronto, the party who is at fault for the accident is in Toronto, then jurisdiction is likely going to be in Toronto.
Impact on a Case
If a cyclist is not following the laws or the rules of the road in Toronto, for example, going through a red light, and opposing traffic hits the cyclist, then it is unlikely they will be able to pursue a legal case because they may be found at fault for the accident.
A cyclist is deemed to be a pedestrian under the law and the protection under the law for pedestrians is that the driver in the lawsuit must demonstrate that they were not negligent in the circumstances. This “reverse onus” is different than accidents not involving pedestrians where the injured person must prove that the other party was negligent. It is a subtle difference, but it is a very important difference. It makes bicycle lawsuits in Toronto much easier to pursue in terms of compensation.
If a person has gone out of province to ride a bicycle and gets hit by a car, then they would apply for benefits under their own motor vehicle insurance policy. If the cyclist does not have a motor vehicle insurance policy, then it depends on where the accident occurred and the laws of the province.
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It is important for individuals to avoid bicycle accidents in Toronto by understanding the traffic laws and the rules of the road. Cyclists should also have reflective gear on the bicycle and their person. They should have lights when riding in the nighttime and they should not cycle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
There are hand signals that a person is required to use when signaling to motor vehicles or other cyclists that a person intends to take a certain course of action.
Automobile drivers can help prevent bicycle accidents by watching where they are going. In Ontario, as a motor vehicle driver, they must give cyclists a one-meter berth when passing. They should be cautious when getting out of their vehicle as well because a very typical accident occurs when drivers park and open their door just as the cyclist is about to pass them.
Many people do not know that it is not mandatory to have a helmet on after the age of 18, but it is recommended. It is important to know these traffic laws and preventative measures to best avoid accidents and understand how they will have an impact on potential liability if they file a claim later on. Everybody should usually have their health card and their identification and an emergency contact in their wallet when riding a bicycle in Toronto. If a person is involved in an accident, having camera footage can be used as evidence towards determining liability in the accident as well. Toronto bicycle accident lawyers can help their client to establish liability depending on traffic laws as well.