Monday, June 12, 2006

Police will be ticketing motorists

The Toronto Police Service has announced its campain called Safe Cycling - Share the Responsibility.

The focus is on "aggressive" cycling and people parked in the bike lane.

Thanks to Margaret Hastings-James for spreading the word. The details of the news release are below.

Broadcast time: 7:00 am



On Monday June 12, 2006, the Toronto Police Service will be launching a one-week traffic safety initiative entitled Safe Cycling – Share the Responsibility. This will be the second initiative undertaken as part of the Service’s comprehensive traffic strategy, “Operation Safe Journey”.

The Toronto Police Service is continuing to focus its’ efforts on encouraging safe cycling as a practical mode of transportation in our city. Safe Cycling – Share the Responsibility will commence today and conclude on Sunday June 18 2006. This initiative is designed to reduce the potential for cycling related injuries, through awareness, education and enforcement.

The Toronto Police Service reminds motorists of the dangers of opening car doors in the path of cyclists and the importance of checking blind spots prior to making right turns. Officers will pay particular attention to those motorists who endanger the lives of cyclists including vehicles parked in designated bike lanes. Attention will also be paid to cyclists whose aggressive riding puts themselves, pedestrians and motorists at risk.

Each year about 1,200 cyclists are involved in collisions on Toronto roadways. Cyclists are vulnerable road users. The last 5 cycling fatalities have involved commercial motor vehicles. Motorists and cyclists have a responsibility to share the road equally by driving safely, riding responsibly, and by obeying all the rules of the road.

For more information on Safe Cycling – Share the Responsibility, please contact Sergeant Brian Bowman at 416-808-1926 or Constable Stephen Burns at 416-808-1919.

Constable Stephen Burns

for: Superintendent Stephen Grant

Darren J 6/12/2006 11:45:00 a.m.


Ah but lets see if they give out more tickets to motorists or cyclists. I was talking to someone who got a ticket LAST WEEK on their bike after rolling through a stop sign. Cop told him how dangerous cycling was and that he would likely be killed while riding his bike. Nice of them eh?
We'll see how it goes. It sounds like on an official level, the police are aware of the difficulties cyclists face.

I've read a few times in the paper in the past month that police say 50% of bike-car collisions in Toronto are the fault of the cyclist. I find this hard to believe though given attitudes of police officers like the one you just described.

If the city really wants to teach cyclists about cycling safely, they would do it through education programs, like CAN Bike. They could teach people how to work up the courage to get on a bike on a busy street, how to change lanes safely, where to look for dangerous drivers like the right hook(er). I'm not saying that's easy, but it would be far more productive than ticketing cyclists who do a rolling stop at a stop sign.

Do they teach this stuff in school to kids? My school used to have a driving school for 16 year olds. They could do a bike course for 14 year olds. I saw something about this mentioned in an upcoming plan for Chicago.
The police have stated that they acknowledge that not all, in fact a majority, of cycling collisions are not reported. A lot are hit and runs and others where the cyclist cannot be bothered to wait when they will be given a hard time by the cops. There used to be a link on the city's website that pinned unreported collisions at around 80%.

It might be more appropriate to say that 50% of reported collisions are the fault of the driver.

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