cyclists traffic laws toronto

Should cyclists have to play by the same rules as cars?

I've recently run across a few reports that New York cops are cracking down on cyclists for not obeying traffic signs and other rules of the road. Particularly interesting — or controversial, if you like — is the fact that tickets are being given out for those who run stop signs at empty intersections. Always something of a grey area when it comes to traffic laws, many people will tell you that it doesn't make any sense for cyclists to be held to the same rules as cars in all situations — particularly given that they generally don't occupy a full lane of traffic and are more likely than not to come out on the losing end of a collision with a vehicle.

And yet, strictly speaking, according to the Highway Traffic Act, cyclists "have the same rights and responsibilities to obey all traffic laws as other road users." Still, it's rare to see cyclists written up for illegal turns, running stops signs, and riding the wrong way on one-way streets. There's probably a dissertation out there on the strange legality of offences that are systematically ignored, but I'm curious what people think. Should a 20-30 lbs human-powered vehicle really be held to the same set of laws as a 3000 lbs car?

To the polls we go!


Photo by tyson.williams in the blogTO Flickr pool.


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