Yes. Summertime is a busy time for bicycle purchases and rentals. A warm-weather bike ride can extend long after the sun goes down, so remember that under Section 233.1 of the Highway Safety Code, it is forbidden for anyone to sell or rent a bicycle that is not equipped with the required reflectors.

Statistics compiled by the Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ) speak for themselves: 29% of fatal accidents involving cyclists happen after sundown.

What reflectors are required? To ensure visibility, two types of lighting accessory are needed: passive and active. Section 232 of the Code stipulates that all bicycles must be equipped with passive lighting; i.e., a white reflector at the front and a red one at the rear, amber reflectors on each pedal, as well as an amber reflector attached to the spokes of the front wheel and a red one attached to the spokes of the rear wheel. (Note that with respect to the wheel-mounted reflectors, Bill 71 to amend the Code, currently under study, proposes eliminating the requirement for a particular colour.)

Section 233, meanwhile, states that at night, all bicycles must carry active lighting: a white headlight and a red taillight. Note that many stores now sell flashing LED units for this purpose, which are very effective — and inexpensive. In short, the sensible thing to do (not to mention, it’s the law!) is not to rely on street lighting to be sure you can see — and, more important, be seen.

Important: if you are planning to rent a bike, make sure it meets these standards!

In the dark, all cyclists are… grey – unless you do the wise thing and opt for easier-to-see apparel. When it comes to ensuring visibility, a jacket with reflective stripes is a must-have item in the prudent cyclist’s wardrobe.