City of Toronto nabs dozens of cyclists for speeding in blitz that some say is unfair
A recent traffic blitz in Toronto that resulted in upwards of 125 tickets collectively against both cyclists and drivers has some residents up in arms about the fact that those who commute by bike can, in fact, be busted for speeding in some cases.
Another useless waste of taxpayers' dollars. Go police something that needs policing. Last year, 41 cyclists were killed or seriously injured in Toronto. None were because the cyclist was speeding.— AndreSousaPhotos (@andresousaphoto) July 25, 2021
People enjoying High Park late last week were surprised to see police in the area issuing fines to not only those behind the wheel of cars cruising down the green space's roadways too quickly, but also to those on bikes who were doing the same.
Passersby who spotted police and bylaw enforcement nabbing speeding cyclists called it "hilarious," "ridiculous," "excessive," "fuckery" and an inappropriate use of resources, among other things, and the response remains equally strong after-the-fact.
A total of 62 cyclists and 64 drivers were ticketed $125 each for either speeding or not coming to a complete stop at a stop sign over the course of two days.
The punitive action comes under Chapter 608, Section 32 of the Toronto Municipal Code, which dictates that "the maximum rate of speed for vehicles, motorized recreational vehicles, bicycles and personally powered devices in a park is 20 kilometres per hour."
Bikes, which many fairly point out don't come equipped with speedometers, are usually exempt from being charged for defying speed limits on normal roads governed by Ontario's Highway Traffic Act, which only applies to motor vehicles.
What the hell. Toronto police wasting all of these resources giving *speeding tickets to cyclists* rather than the people driving giant metal death boxes is infuriating!!!! https://t.co/aVyl0fTI8b— Owen Williams ⚡ (@ow) July 24, 2021
A spokesperson from the Toronto Police Service told blogTO that the force has long experienced a "significant" number of complaints about both vehicles and bicycles travelling at high speeds in the park, which has become increasingly more busy as things open up.
"In response to these concerns and to help keep the community safe, local officers have been working with City bylaw officers by stopping vehicles and cyclists witnessed speeding or committing offences such as failing to stop at stop signs," TPS continued.
"Police and bylaw officers educate the driver or rider on their behaviour, while bylaw officers have also been issuing tickets when necessary... this has been welcomed by the local community as well those visiting the park."
This a bad take. cars have speed limits because they weigh a metric F*^%-ton, take forever to stop, have very poor visibility, and produce enough force to kill someone even at moderate speeds. Bikes don’t suffer from any of this.— Risto Treksler (@ristotreksler) July 25, 2021
There are those online who do indeed appear to support the enforcement, though others have been quick to point out why ticketing them for biking through a park the same way a driver would be is unfair given how much more dangerous a car is to those around it.
I think the big issue is that there's a perception that Toronto police have backed off on ticketing cars for speeding, illegal turns, fail to stop, illegal mods (tint, plate covers, noise), so cyclists feel they're being singled out— Kev J (@Kevinadian) July 24, 2021
On the contentious issue, some have cited a "sense of entitlement" from cyclists who don't want to obey rules that rightfully apply to them, while others report "so many speeding cyclists in many Toronto parks and trails" who "never caution pedestrians they're passing, and speed down the trails."
"Maybe there should be cyclist ed?" one person on Twitter suggested, noting before they inevtiably got attacked for their stance that "I cycle and walk btw."
For the record, the phenomenon of TPS and bylaw officers busting cyclists for speeding in parks is not anything new, though it does appear to be rare and somewhat unexpected.
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