Rules of the Road 

One of the key priorities of the City of Brantford is to ensure the health and safety of our residents. Establishing and communicating the rules of on our roads and trails is an important measure in preventing accidents and injuries that are all avoidable when rules are followed.

While drivers are generally aware of the rules of the road, people using other modes of transportation, such as mobility scooters, wheelchairs and e-bikes, as well as cyclists and pedestrians, may not have the same appreciation for the rules and might unknowingly put themselves at risk of danger and conflicts over who has the right of way on city roads and trails.

Rules of the Road

Rules of the Road must be followed by all users of the road

  • People using assisted motorized devices, such as mobility scooters and wheelchairs, must follow the same rules as pedestrians and should slow down and remain on sidewalks where sidewalks are in place.
  • Those with mobility devices should utilize the sidewalk when a sidewalk is available and avoid traveling on roadways or in bike lanes
  • E-bikes and bicycles are treated as vehicles under the Ontario Highway Traffic Act. Bicycles need to obey the rules of the road like all vehicles do and should use a bike lane when available.
  • When a bike lane is not available, cyclists should keep to one side of the road if safe to do so but may also occupy the full lane as required to avoid conflicts such as parked cars or while in narrow lanes. Cars passing a cyclist should only do so when safe and keep at least a one-metre separation from the cyclist.
  • Skateboards and motorized skateboards are only permitted on sidewalks. However, skateboarding is prohibited within the downtown core, which is bounded by Nelson Street, Alfred Street, Colborne Street, ICOMM Drive, Brant Avenue and West Street.
  • Drivers are reminded to obey speed limits and parking regulations, especially near schools.

Rules on Trails

Brantford is home to 70 kilometres of nature trails and, in general, bicycles are allowed on multi-use trails unless otherwise noted. It’s important to follow proper etiquette while on trails, including cyclists calling out or ringing a bicycle bell to alert pedestrians and other transportation users when they’re approaching and intend to pass. Pedestrians, in turn, should move to one side (preferably the right hand side) to allow cyclists to pass.

Respecting rules and etiquette on trails will help avoid conflicts or injuries so everyone can enjoy trails equally and safely.

Vision Zero Road Safety

Vision Zero is a global initiative with the simple and clear goal of zero fatalities or serious injuries on city roadways.

Vision Zero Road Safety was founded in Sweden in 1997 and is a global initiative that stresses that no loss of life is acceptable, road safety is a shared responsibility and working together will contribute to a safe road network.

In 2017, there were 1,760 collisions on municipal roads, 41 of which involved bikes and 45 involved pedestrians. Of those collisions, 297 resulted in injuries and two deaths.

Locally, by adopting the initiative, The City of Brantford aims to make Brantford streets safer through improved education, enforcement, engineering, evaluation and engagement.

The City is committed to Vision Zero and accepts its fundamental message: fatalities and serious injuries on our roads are preventable, and we must strive to reduce traffic-related deaths and injuries to ZERO.