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Monday, June 10, 2013

Cycling and Law Enforcement

Recently here in Montreal Police Officers have been handing out tickets to cyclist for various infractions. Some are saying that they are being more aggressive on enforcement than before.

Man gets a ticket for riding in a pedestrian zone.
Tickets issued vary from crossing on a pedestrian light, riding on the sidewalk and having no or missing reflectors on the bike. Reports coming in from some riders indicate that some Officers are not being discerning in their Law enforcement and going heavy on the pen. One noted anecdote states 3 tickets were issued for 3 missing reflectors on the same bike instead of just one ticket for the general infraction. It is also good to know that Montreal PD does not issue any kind of warnings. If the pen comes out, it will cost you.

What to do then? One thing for sure is to pay attention to your surroundings, making sure you don't commit an infraction right in front of a cop. Check your bike for missing reflectors and replace them according to your local law. Here in Quebec reflectors are required as follows: One white in the front, one red in the back, yellow on the pedals front and back, yellow in the front spokes and red in the rear spokes. Quebec's highway code does not specify a definition for a reflector or a standard size, so if you cannot fit a standard reflector somewhere on your bike, you can use reflective tape of the required color.

One element that has been prompted by all that recent MPD activity towards cyclists here in Montreal is a Facebook Group that lets riders know where the fuzz is at during the day. Same kind of thing already done by our car driving counterparts. Don't have one in your area? Start one, it's not illegal (Here anyways).

Lastly, if you do get pulled over for something by a Police officer, identify yourself and shut up. Keep your arguments for court, anything you say will be used against you in the report. Send in your "not guilty" plea with the section for explanation blank if you choose to challenge the case. Would you show your hand at a poker game?

Keep safe and ride free.

Gerry :)

3 comments:

Jess Toons said...

This was great, thanks for sharing! I've been wondering a lot about bicycle sport in Charlotte, and if they could teach me anything extra. I'm excited to go down there, should be loads of fun!

Anonymous said...

Just looked at your YouTube on replacing a cassette since I am adding one to new racing wheels. Read about the Motreal PD, UNBELIEVABLE! They really ticket people for reflectors, and so many reflectors. Sounds like the lawmakers went nuts on bike laws. And we are upset down here that the cops ticket for us riding too fast when the club is out training. I guess it could be worse. Thanks for the great site and YouTubes.

John / Lancaster CA USA

Gerry Lauzon said...

Thanks John, glad you like the site.

Gerry :)