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Saturday, February 25, 2012

Toronto raises fines on drivers in bicycle lanes

CANADA - On February 6th 2012 the Toronto City Council agreed to adopt a motion to relieve rush hour congestion due to unlawful stopping, standing and parking. The motion included a number of changes to city bylaws governing traffic.

Note: Mayor Rob Ford and his brother Doug Ford were absent during the vote, apparently boycotting the vote because they felt it was bad for car drivers and they just love traffic congestion in the city core apparently.

One part of the motion increases the fine for the illegal stopping of vehicles (other than a bicycle) in bicycle lanes. The fine for this offence is to be increased from $60 to $150.

So huzzah for that!

To do this, the City's bicycle lane bylaw (886-8) will be amended. However in order for this increased fine amount to be enforced, the Senior Regional Justice of the Ontario Court of Justice must now receive and adopt the application made by the City Solicitor. This process typically takes 3-4 months...

And then its just a matter of whether police will increase the number of times they fine drivers for stopping or parking in bicycle lanes. I have only ONCE seen police give a fine to a driver for parking in a bicycle lane (and too close to an intersection, so it was double the reason).

Perhaps the higher fine will increase police incentive to do their job instead of looking the other way so often.

Now if you don't know why parking in a bicycle lane is dangerous, think about this. You are bicycling along in the bicycle lane... you come to car. You go around it by going into the car lane. Right away you are taking 2 risks.

#1. You are more likely to get hit by traffic, especially if its a busy street, which is usually the case if it has a bicycle lane.

#2. The biggest danger is being hit by someone who opens their driver side car door. Not only is it typically a trip to the hospital, insurance claims, etc., but it also a hefty fine and carries possible criminal charges for "dooring a cyclist".

In other news here is a funny video about car drivers who hate cyclists:

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