A bicycle is a vehicle under the Ontario Highway Traffic Act
(HTA). This means that a cyclist has the same rights and
responsibilities to obey all traffic laws as other road users.
Cyclists charged for disobeying traffic laws will be subject to a
minimum set fine and a Victim Surcharge fine of $20.00 for most
offences. In addition, in Ontario, a minor is also required to wear
an approved bicycle helmet when travelling on any public road. The
Ontario helmet law came into effect October 1, 1995. Although
originally intended to apply to all ages, it was amended by
Regulation before enactment to exempt adults (18 years of age and
over). The law was clearly created to target and protect children
from head injuries. Indeed, about three-quarters of all cycling
fatalities involve head injuries.
Has the helmet law been effective?
Statistics following the helmet law continue to show that the
percentage of child cyclists admitted to hospital with head
injuries has decreased. These statistics suggest that helmets are
increasing safety and are effective in preventing head injuries.
Again, although adults are not required by law to wear a helmet
when cycling, wearing a helmet is strongly encouraged for the
cyclist's own safety.
What is the fine for not wearing a helmet?
The fine is $60. With court costs of $5 and the victim fine
surcharge of $10, the total is $75 for a plea of guilty.
How do I know which helmet to buy?
Consumers should look for a helmet that fits comfortably and
meets safety standards. Check the inside of the helmet for stickers
from one or more of the following organizations:
Canadian Standard Association: CAN/CSA D113.2-M89
Snell Memorial Foundation: Snell B90, Snell B90S, or Snell
American National Standard Institute: ANSI Z90.4-1984
American Society For Testing and Materials: ASTMF1447-94
British Standards Institute: BS6863:1989
Standards Association of Australia: AS2063.2-1990
More information on approved helmets can be found by consulting
the Ontario Ministry of Transportation and/or viewing their
As always, though this article intends to give you a basic
overview of the law, it is never a substitute for consulting your
lawyer. If you or someone you know was injured while cycling, you
are advised to discuss your legal options with a personal injury
This case asked the Court to consider the unusual situation of a party to a potentially valid polygamous marriage (performed in Pakistan) asking for a divorce from her husband. Initially, the Court of Queen’s Bench declined to hear evidence from either party on the basis that Ms. Azam had admitted in her pleadings that Mr. Jan was married at the time of their marriage in Pakistan, and thus the marriage was void.