Not such a free ride for cyclists who don’t follow the rules
It’s good to see Toronto Police applying the rules of the road to cyclists, and even better that a city councillor was snared in their net.
Councillor Karen Stintz, who also chairs the TTC, was issued a $110 ticket Thursday for allegedly rolling through a stop sign on her bicycle at Duplex and Berwick Aves.
Stintz says there is no stop sign at Duplex and Berwick, at least not for the direction she was travelling, and that she wasn’t pulled over until she was seven blocks away.
She admitted to making rolling stops at other stop signs along her way, but the ticket was for Duplex and Berwick.
Everyone who rides a bike makes rolling stops. Without exception. It is one of the joys of cycling, and the reason many cyclists will be outraged that the same law has been applied to them as drivers.
By busting Stintz, the police are demonstrating that cyclists are not above the law, even prominent ones. If anything, they may be trying to make a point by ticketing her.
I have nothing against Stintz and wouldn’t want her to get a ticket any more or less than any other councillor, but better her than Joe Blow, who has no ability to publicize it, as Stintz has done.
For me, it’s the best response to the emails and comments posted to my online stories from people who are outraged by what they see as a free ride for cyclists, who ignore the rules of the road with no consequences.
While cyclists are not subject to anywhere near the same level of enforcement as drivers, clearly there are cops out there who are pulling over cyclists and writing them tickets.
For every rider like Stintz, there must be 10 who got a ticket but didn’t put it out on Twitter and talk to the media about it, as she did.
The lesson for cyclists is that you can’t assume you’ll always get away with everything.
It should also be instructive for drivers who believe they can.