Cycling is a great way to enjoy the fresh air and get "in motion".
It's a fun and healthy way to get around your town, neighbourhood, the
Cycling also has its risks, from minor bike crashes with scrapes and bruises to more serious injuries involving broken bones or head injuries. Every year in Manitoba approximately 158 cyclists are hospitalized for cycling related injuries, with several resulting in serious injury or death. About 34% of these injuries occur to cyclists under the age of 18.
Bike helmets and legislation
Bike Safety and Manitoba Bike
Wearing a helmet while riding a bicycle has proven to reduce the risk of serious head and brain injury by more than 85 per cent.
Bike Helmet Legislation in effect May 1st, 2013
As of May 1st, 2013 a law took effect in Manitoba that makes it compulsory for cyclists under the age of 18 to wear a suitable helmet while cycling. The law also applies to an individual under that age when the individual is a passenger on a bicycle or on or in anything attached to or towed by a bicycle. Helmets must be certified by standards such as the Canadian Standards Association (CSA), Snell Memorial Foundation, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) or the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). Helmets offered through the low cost bike helmet initiative cost $15.
**Effective May 1, 2013, bicycle helmets are exempt from provincial sales tax; no age restriction applies.
Parents and guardians are responsible to ensure their children are wearing bicycle helmets when cycling. If you are the parent of someone under 18 that is not wearing a bike helmet while cycling, you can be ticketed under The Highway Traffic Act.
This law also provides an alternative to paying a fine, for cyclists who have received their first ticket for not wearing a helmet. They can take the Manitoba Bike Helmet Safety Course and have their fine dismissed. The course provides cyclists with important safety information about bike helmets.
By undertaking bicycle helmet observation studies, both prior to and after introducing legislation, it has been shown that helmet use has increased significantly. Helmet wearing rates among children and youth cyclists in Winnipeg improved from 31% in 2012 to 61% in 2013; in Rural Manitoba, helmet use also significantly increased, from 44% in 2012 to 78% in 2013. These increases suggest that bicycle helmet legislation has had a positive effect on the number of cyclists choosing to wear helmets in Manitoba.
Be a role model for your children and wear your helmet every time you cycle. And make sure that the children in your family are protected and always wear a certified helmet when riding their bikes.
Injuries can happen anywhere - close to home, on the sidewalk or side streets. Research shows that cyclists are more vulnerable to injury at intersections and on multi-lane roads. For children and youth, most bike injuries happen due to:
The links below are intended to help parents make safe choices in selecting outdoor equipment and ensure that they are using it safely.
For more information, Manitoba Public Insurance has published an "I Cycle Safely" brochure for children and youth, and a "Bike Safely" booklet for adults on learning and following the rules of the road.
Take steps to be visible while riding your bicycle:
Important links and resources
For more information about biking safely, check out the Manitoba Local Government Active Transportation web portal for information on a safe cycling program in your community. Ask your school, local police service or community club about local bike safety programs for your children.
To view the Traffic Skills 101 & Bike Handling Skills 101 videos click on the following links.
Traffic Skills 101 (English only)
Bike Handling Skills 101 (English only)