Comment 87299

By kevlahan (registered) | Posted March 18, 2013 at 21:43:33 in reply to Comment 87298

Cyclists should obey the law, and cyclists do pay taxes that pay for road construction, maintenance, policing and emergency services. (Municipal roads are paid from property taxes, fuel taxes do not come close to covering the cost of building and maintaining highways and freeways and, in any case, the vast majority of cyclists are also motorists!).

I certainly don't object on principle to cyclists being ticketed for infractions. This has nothing to do with being left, right or centre (I support road tolls, which is usually considered a right wing solution, rather than subsidizing everyone through taxes and I am happy to take the 407).

What I do object to is:

  1. The implication that motorists obey traffic laws and cyclists don't. Both groups (who are often the same people) break many of the laws most of the time. For example, motorists speed almost all the time (especially on freeways), cyclists coast through stop signs almost all the time. In both cases, the police do not enforce the letter of the law. It is a fact that you will never get ticketed for doing 105 km/h on the QEW. And the law states that you must not exceed the posted limit, there is no +5km/h or +10km/h grace zone!

  2. The claim that enforcing all traffic laws is equally important and deserves the same resources. A motorist speeding is far more dangerous than a cyclist coasting through a stop sign. And a motorist doing 70km/h on a residential street is far more dangerous than a motorist doing 120 km/h on the QEW in good conditions.

  3. A four-week campaign targeting only cyclists reinforces the false impression that cyclists law-breaking is a significant danger to the public. Statistics in Hamilton and Toronto suggest only 0.4% of traffic accidents are caused by cyclists!

By all means, ticket a cyclist who is behaving dangerously. But don't pretend most cyclists are dangerous scoff-laws, and don't forget that the police also exercise a lot of discretion in ticketing motorists.

If they target drunk drivers and urban speeders and red-light runners more than cyclists, it is because they pose a much greater risk to themselves and others. And this is how it should be.

Comment edited by kevlahan on 2013-03-18 21:44:46

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