Rights and Duties of Cycle Operators

Cyclist"Are there rules for riding bicycles?" a reader asks after narrowly missing a collision with a bicyclist. "They seem to ride wherever they feel like it. How is a driver supposed to know what bicycle riders are going to do?"

The most significant concept in the Motor Vehicle Act is that the rider of a bicycle has the same rights and duties as the driver of a motor vehicle.

The right is to use the highway in the same manner as the driver of a car or truck, with some limitations. The right is also to have the driver of a motor vehicle treat the cyclist in the same manner as they are required treat the driver of another motor vehicle.

The cyclist must ride as nearly as possible to the right hand side of the highway in single file, but is not expected to ride off of the pavement. In other words, motor vehicles and bicycles must share the road with each other.

The duties that the cyclist has include the rules of the road that drivers are subject to. They must obey speed limits, stop at stop signs, ride on the correct side of the highway and give arm signals so that other traffic knows what the rider intends to do. They are also required to report collisions that result in injury or total damage in excess of $100 when these occur on a highway or sidewalk.

A number of specific duties are required of cyclists. Most are common sense, such as keeping at least one hand on the handlebars, being seated properly on the seat, carrying only the number of passengers that the bicycle is designed for and having proper lights and reflectors when riding at night.

Sidewalks and crosswalks must not be used by cyclists unless permitted by a by-law or directed to do so by a sign.

References:

Comments

"as near as practicable" not "as nearly as possible".

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

The Bike Sense Manual includes:

http://www.bikesense.bc.ca/bikesense-manual

Vehicle or motor vehicle: Slow, Speed limits, School/Playground

Note that 183 says "vehicle" not "motor vehicle", maybe this has been changed since 2004.

"Rights and duties of operator of cycle

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."

145 and 146 are for motor vehicles, but 147 is for vehicles.

Slow driving

145   (1) A person must not drive a motor vehicle at so slow a speed as to impede or block the normal and reasonable movement of traffic, except when reduced speed is necessary for safe operation or in compliance with law.

(2) If the driver of a motor vehicle is driving at so slow a speed as to impede or block the normal and reasonable movement of traffic, a peace officer may require the driver to increase his or her speed, or to remove the motor vehicle from the roadway to the nearest suitable place and to refrain from causing or allowing the motor vehicle to move from that place until directed to do so by a peace officer.

Speed limits

146   (1) Subject to this section, a person must not drive or operate a motor vehicle on a highway in a municipality or treaty lands at a greater rate of speed than 50 km/h, and a person must not drive or operate a motor vehicle on a highway outside a municipality at a greater rate of speed than 80 km/h.

(2) The minister responsible for the administration of the Transportation Act may, by causing a sign to be erected or placed on a highway limiting the rate of speed of motor vehicles or a category of motor vehicles driven or operated on that portion of the highway, increase or decrease the rate of speed at which a person may drive or operate a motor vehicle or a category of motor vehicle on that portion of the highway.

(3) If the minister responsible for the administration of the Transportation Act has caused a sign to be erected or placed on a highway limiting the rate of speed of motor vehicles or a category of motor vehicles driven or operated on that portion of the highway, a person must not, when the sign is in place on the highway, drive or operate a vehicle on that portion of the highway at a greater rate of speed than that indicated on the sign for that category of motor vehicle.

(4) The minister responsible for the administration of the Transportation Act may, by notice in the Gazette, define areas in the unorganized area of British Columbia, and may by causing signs to be erected at the entrance to an area so defined direct the rate of speed at which a person may drive or operate a motor vehicle or a category of motor vehicle in that area, but the rate of speed must not be greater than 60 km/h.

(5) If the minister responsible for the administration of the Transportation Act has caused signs to be erected or placed on a highway in accordance with subsection (4), a person must not, when the sign is in place on the highway, drive or operate a vehicle on a highway at a greater rate of speed than that indicated on the sign for that category of motor vehicle, unless another sign on a specific highway in the defined area so indicates.

(6) Subject to subsections (2) and (3), a municipality may by bylaw direct the rate of speed at which a person may drive or operate a motor vehicle on a highway in the municipality.

(7) If, under a bylaw adopted by a municipality or a law enacted by a treaty first nation, signs have been erected or placed on a highway limiting the rate of speed of motor vehicles driven or operated on a designated portion of the highway, a person must not, when the sign is in place on the highway, drive or operate a motor vehicle on that portion of the highway at a greater rate of speed than that indicated on the sign.

(8) A municipality may by bylaw direct that the rate of speed at which a person may drive or operate a motor vehicle in the municipality on a lane not exceeding 8 m in width must not be in excess of 20 km/h.

(9) Despite section 260 (3) [enforcement powers] of the Community Charter, a person who contravenes a bylaw made under subsection (6) or (8) does not commit an offence against the bylaw.

(10) A municipality that has enacted a bylaw under subsection (8) and a treaty first nation that has enacted a law having the same effect are not required to erect signs designating the rate of speed at which motor vehicles may be driven or operated.

(11) A person must not drive or operate a motor vehicle on a lane in a municipality that has enacted a bylaw under subsection (8) or in the treaty lands of a treaty first nation that has enacted a law having the same effect at a greater rate of speed than 20 km/h.

Schools and playgrounds

147   (1) A person driving a vehicle on a regular school day and on a highway where signs are displayed stating a speed limit of 30 km/h, or on which the numerals "30" are prominently shown, must drive at a rate of speed not exceeding 30 km/h while approaching or passing the school building and school grounds to which the signs relate, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., or subject to subsection (1.1), between any extended times that are stated on the signs.

(1.1) Extended times under subsection (1) may not begin later than 8 a.m. or end earlier than 5 p.m.

(2) A person driving a vehicle on a highway must drive the vehicle at a rate of speed not exceeding 30 km/h when approaching or passing, between dawn and dusk, a public playground for children where signs are displayed stating a speed limit of 30 km/h, or on which the numerals "30" are prominently shown.

Damage threshold changed March 8, 2019

"Under the new rules, police will be free to clear collision scenes where there are no injuries and the damage does not exceed $10,000 before filing a written report. The law will apply to all vehicle types. Under the previous law, officers had to complete a written report on any collision where damage exceeded $1,000 before any vehicles could be removed from the road. For motorcycles the threshold was $600 and for bicycles it was $100." per https://vancouverisland.ctvnews.ca/province-says-new-reporting-protocols-will-clear-collision-scenes-faster-1.4328445

City of Vancouver bylaws

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