Lee Geller &
Cycling Infractions & Ticketing
You should know that Toronto Police are now regularly paying closer attention
to the behaviors of cyclists on the road, and giving tickets for infractions.
This is not all bad news of course. With this increased attention comes a
greater awareness of the negative impacts that some driver behaviours /
driving infractions have on the cycling population, along with increased
ticketing for these actions. Although we don?t like to discuss it much,
there are many drivers and cyclists that drive and ride recklessly and are
sometimes deserving of fines ? though unpopular, penalties are proven to be
an effective tool to help motivate behavior change.
That said, many feel that an $85 fine for not having a bell is
unreasonable, in particular when your voice can be more effective in many
cases? Unreasonable or not, it?s the law and you can avoid this particular
fine by spending a mere $5 on a bell and 5 minutes installing it. Besides,
the sound of bike bells is so lovely, the more the merrier!
Please take a moment to consider your cycling habits (good and bad) and
remember that cyclists, as per the Highway Traffic Act, must follow the
same rules of the road as other vehicles, and are subject to many of the
same fines. Cyclists are required by law to have front and rear lights
after dusk and before dawn, to have reflective tape on the front and back
of their bike frame, to signal direction & lane changes, etc...
- Some fines that apply to cyclists:
Disobey stop sign or fail to stop $85
Fail to signal for stop or turn $85
Cyclist riding in or along crosswalk (this included X-walks, and
pedestrian crossings at intersections) $85
Red light, fail to stop $260 - plus 5 costs plus $60 victim surc
harge = $ 325
Red light: proceed before green $260
Fail to stop on right for emergency vehicle $400
Careless driving $400 - plus 5 costs plus $90 victim surcharge = $500
Additional cycling related infractions for which you can be fined can be
viewed at this excellent City of Toronto site. Please note however that
although the fines for Running a red light, and Careless driving have
recently been increased, these changes are not yet reflected on the City of
One very common misconception / error made by Police is that demerit points
apply to cyclists.
Demerit Points DO NOT apply for cycling infractions
Please note that in response to the confusion around whet her or not D
emerit Points apply to cyclist, the yellow infraction tickets have recently
been modified to show clearly that the fine is for a cycling related
Two things to look for on the ticket:
Near the top there is a 'Motor Vehicle Involved' box - the officer
should put a check in the '[ ] N' box to indicate ?No?.
Near the bottom is where a license plate number would be included -
this should be left blank, and then in the license plate code box
next to it, a 'C' should be marked to indicate Cyclist.
You should provide ID when asked to do so by police. If you do not
regularly carry ID on you, you can simply identify yourself, and provide
your pertinent information, verbally ? you are legally allowed to do
this. Most officers will request a driver?s license because it helps them
to know your level of understanding of the rules of the road.
Please note: If you know that y ou have made a mistake and are in
contravention of the law, it is better to accept the ticket gracefully
rather than lose your cool or fight with police. Even if you feel you have
not done anything wrong, arguing with a police officer is rarely a good
idea and can lead to more problems than it?s worth.
If you, or someone you know has been ticketed incorrectly, or been treated
poorly by police when stopped for an infraction, please connect with ARC
(Advocacy for Respect for Cyclists) http://www.respect.to.