Safe Cycling Police Campaign starts
Be aware, cyclists! Starting today, Toronto police are "campaigning" for safer cycling (pdf). In theory it means education and enforcement of cyclists and motorists. What it means in practice is that police wait at intersections to catch cyclists making the all-to-common mistakes of doing a "rolling stop", not making proper signals, not having a bell, not having reflective tape on the front and back forks, or of riding through the crosswalks or sidewalks. In practice the education part means police will encourage cyclists "to refresh themselves with the rules of the road" by giving out fat traffic infractions.
Toronto police have also started to target motorists who park in the bike lane or endanger cyclists in other ways. To their credit, the police are learning that it's not just about cracking down on cyclists but there needs to be stronger enforcement of motorists. But why don't we keep the pressure up to ensure that the police actually enforce bike lanes and car doors the rest of the year? And why don't we let them know that putting an enforcement campaign right in the middle of Bike Month is not very helpful or respectful of cyclists? It's like saying: "Congratulations! Here's your ticket!"
Credit: Gabi (Flickr)