True or False Quiz: Rules of the Road for Bikers


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Spring is here, and bikes are back. Some bike for fun, others to get to work. Either way, there are more and more cyclists on the road. 

But do they all know the rules of the road? Helmets, headphones, using the sidewalk … What’s urban legend and what does the law really say?


 1.  I have to wear a helmet.



False. The law doesn’t require helmets, but it’s a good idea for safety reasons.

Careful! In the city of Sherbrooke, everyone under 18 must wear a helmet.


2.  I can listen to music with headphones when I'm riding.



False. It's illegal to ride using headphones. You can use a hands-free device for phone calls, but only if you can still hear sounds around you.

If you break these rules, the fine is between $30 and $60.



3.  I can get demerit points if I don’t stop at a red light or stop sign.



TrueCyclists must respect traffic signs. They have to stop at red lights and stop signs, and they must yield.

You can be fined between $15 and $30 and get three demerit points for breaking these rules. 

Careful! You can get demerit points even if you don’t have a driver’s licence. To learn more, see the explanations of Quebec’s automobile insurance bureau.


 4.  I could be fined if I ride off a bike path.



FalseBike paths are safe. But there's no general rule forcing you to use them.

However, you must use the bike path if a road sign specifically says so.


5.  I have to use signals when I plan to turn or stop.



True. The law explains how to do this:

  • To turn left, put your left arm out horizontally.
  • To turn right, put your right arm out horizontally or turn your left forearm vertically upwards.
  • To stop or slow down, turn your left forearm vertically downwards.



6.  I can't ride my bike after drinking alcohol. 



FalseBut it is illegal to drink alcohol while you ride.   

Also, the police could ask for someone to accompany you home if you look like you could hurt yourself or someone else. Police officers can also take your bike away until you’re able to ride safely.   

You always have to be careful. The law has tough penalties for putting other people's safety at risk. Fines run from $1,000 to $3,000. 


7.  I’m allowed to ride in the middle of the road and on sidewalks.



FalseCyclists must always ride on the far right of the road and in the same direction as traffic.

There are three exceptions: 

  • You are about to make a left turn.
  • A road sign allows you to ride against traffic.
  • If it’s necessary, for example, to avoid danger. 

Also, cyclists can’t ride between two lines of moving cars or on sidewalks.

The fine for breaking these rules is between $15 and $30.  


8.  I can ride without lights at night.



False. You bike must have this equipment:

  • reflectors at the front and back and on wheels and pedals
  • at night, a white light at the front and a red light at the back  

The fine for breaking these rules is between $15 and $30. 

The website of the Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec shows where these accessories must be installed .




 9.  I can attach my bike to city property (lampposts, etc.) and trees.   



It dependsEach borough or city makes its own rules about this. 

In some Montreal boroughs, you can't attach a bike to a tree or other city property. 

Contact your borough or city for more information.