Veteran cyclists and newbies alike may consider themselves lucky for not receiving some hefty fines during Bike to Work Week.
Bylaw officers from the City of Victoria as well as police officers from the Victoria Police Department have a long list of cycling-related offences, many of which are commonly seen on Victoria streets.
Riding side-by-side with other cyclists, riding without a helmet, riding with no hands on the handlebars, and more are all offences that can be fined.
There are two categories which define the offences and their fines; the Motor Vehicle Act, which the police use, and city bylaws, which bylaw enforcement officers use.
If you have to have a fine from someone, the bylaw infractions are generally less expensive. Luckily, a person can’t be charged with both fines for the same offences.
Common cycling infractions and their fines include:
- Riding the bike on a sidewalk – Police $109 / City $50
- Failure to ride a bike on the right side – Police $109 / City $60
- Riding without a hand on the handlebar – Police $109
- Riding without a helmet – Police $29
- Careless cycling- Police $109 / City $60
- Riding the bike on a crosswalk – Police $109/ $60
- Riding the bike with both legs on one side – Police $109
- Riding a bike while attached to a vehicle – Police $109
- Carrying passengers on a bike – Police $109
- Riding after dark without lights- Police $109
Both bylaw enforcement officers and police officers typically take an educational approach and issue warnings before issuing any fines, unless they are more dangerous offences.
“Anecdotally, offences such as failure to stop at a stop sign, going through red lights and not wearing a helmet are more likely to result in a ticket,” said VicPD spokesperson Const. Matt Rutherford. “But that is up to each individual officer and the specific circumstances of the incident.”
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