Rules of the Road

Knowing the rules of the road will help keep you safe and will minimize conflicts between cyclists and vehicles.



Rules of the Road for People Riding Bicycles


  • Cyclists of all ages must wear a helmet.
  • Every bicycle must be equipped with a bell or horn.
  • When riding between 30 minutes before sunset (dusk, not dark) and 30 minutes after sunrise, you must have a front white light and a rear red light or rear red reflector (we strongly recommend a rear light).
  • Just like people driving motor vehicles, people riding bicycles must signal their intention to turn and make lane changes. (Know your turn signals.)
  • Cyclists must ride on the right hand side of the road, with the flow of traffic, and as near as practicable to the road edge (roughly one metre from the road edge depending on speed of traffic, road edge/width, and destination).
  • Cyclists may take the full lane if going through a roundabout, making a left turn, or otherwise feel that they need to do so for their safety. Ride in a straight predictable path, do not weave around parked cars, stay one metre away from parked cars to avoid the “door zone”, and take the lane as needed to perform turning maneuvers or to avoid road hazards.
  • Cyclists may pass motor vehicles on the right if it is safe to do so. **Passing on the right can put you in a dangerous position. Vehicles making right turns and lane changes are not likely to expect bicycles passing on the right. Reduce speed and be very aware.
  • Except when passing another person cycling, people cycling on a highway shall ride in single file.
  • Motor vehicles may not park in a bike lane. Fines range from $25-$225.
  • Motor vehicles may only pass a bicycle if it is safe to do so and there is at least one metre of open space between the vehicle and the person cycling. Motor vehicles may cross a line to pass a bicycle safely.
  • Bicycles are allowed on all roads in Nova Scotia unless otherwise posted with “no bikes or slow moving vehicles” signs. Examples of restricted highways include stretches of 111, 103, 102, and the Bedford Bypass.
  • Cyclists must follow the same law as motor vehicles, unless the law has made specific exemptions.
  • Cyclists may not ride on the sidewalk or use crosswalks while riding.
  • Children (16 and under) may cycle on a sidewalk in a public square, park, city, or town.

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Bicycle Nova Scotia