An enforcement blitz on cyclists won’t change much
A crackdown on cyclists who ignore the rules of the road sounds like a good idea. But if it happens, it’ll only be for show, because there isn’t enough dough.
Transportation Minister Glen Murray has unveiled a 20-year provincial cycling strategy that suggests stricter enforcement of the rules would create a safer environment for bike riders, and further the perception of cycling as a safe activity.
After watching a cyclist slow down for a red, then blow through the intersection on Wednesday because she knew I’d wait for her, instead of completing my left turn (which I blogged about yesterday), you might think I’d be all for a crackdown.
But I doubt it’ll happen, at least not in any meaningful way. Even if it does, there is such resistance from cyclists to anything that halts their momentum, like red lights and stop signs, that a significant change in behaviour is unlikely.
Tougher enforcement of the Highway Traffic Act on cyclists requires a major commitment of police resources. They are already stretched thin and have a lot of other things to do.
And more important, there isn’t much money to be collected in cycling fines, compared to routine traffic enforcement, and particularly radar speed traps.
As for making cyclists obey the law, not a chance. Anyone who gets a ticket will rightly think they got unlucky, and that it won’t happen twice.
And they’ll be right.