Fighting traffic tickets

Have you received a traffic ticket from Toronto Police's bike blitz this week? The ARCwiki has a great resource on fighting traffic tickets or our copy in the guide.

Tickets may be issued for moving violations (such as failing to stop), or for inadequate bike equipment (lights, for example). You can't receive demerit points on your driver's licence for tickets received while on a bicycle.

Don't escalate the situation by yelling, etc. Stay calm, it's just a ticket. You will be able to fight it. Don't assume that as a "law-abiding citizen" you can't be criminally charged just for being annoying. It has happened and it sucks. If necessary, there is a police complaints process.

Write down what happened as soon as possible after receiving the ticket. Include the location, direction of travel, the incident, witnesses, etc. Obtain as much information as possible at the scene. Sign and date it.

Call for witnesses: It is very hard to get them later. Get their phone number or contact information. Ask them to make a signed and dated statement of events as soon as possible. All of the information you need about your charge and the officer (such as badge number and division) should be on your ticket.

Comments

...if you're in the wrong, just pay your damn ticket and learn from your mistakes. Cyclists who run red lights and stop signs, don't have proper lights at night, ride on the sidewalks, and ride against traffic in bikelanes make it difficult for conciencious cyclists like myself and many others in this city to be taken seriously by drivers and pedestrians.

And (while there's no laws mandating these) use your G.D. common sense and get yourself a helmet and take the headphones off while cycling!

And (while there's no laws mandating these) use your G.D. common sense and get yourself a helmet and take the headphones off while cycling!

I agreed w/ the first paragraph but the second paragraph sounded like it came from my first grade school teacher, you should've stopped while you were ahead.

I'll leave the arbitrary rules to Bells on Bloor and every other uptight person who thinks because someone listens to music they can't cycle safely. I suppose we can't listen to music when road tripping in a car either by that standard?

So sure helmets prevent head injuries and head injuries are a very serious matter.
(although in my accident my head never came close to any concrete and most accidents I hear about involving a non-child cyclist, involve the torso, arms or legs being hurt/crushed.)
I don't know about you but I do not wan't it to be illegal for me to ride a bike without a helmet. What about the times you misplace it or are wearing a toque/baliclava for warmth in the winter and a helmet just wont fit? What about all the people that cannot afford a helmet/(be bothered to own one) but have a bike lieing around.
You're right it isn't mandated by law and thats because law's have a purpose and a helmet-only law would solve no purpose but to crush biking's recent revival.

PedalPowerPat (whoever that may be) wrote:
"... law's have a purpose and a helmet-only law would solve no purpose but to crush biking's recent revival."

Kevin's comment:
This is precisely why I advocate a mandatory car helmet law. To discourage car use.

OK, I want Kevin to wear a helmet when he posts on IBIKETO (LOL).

How many assholes we got in cyclin' in this city anyways?

Yo!

Ys nd y nd PPP r n f th wrst cyclsts sh f YB n Trnt, spcll yr tttds. mgn yr prnts r vr shmd f th w yr trnd t nd r wndrng wht th dd wrng fr th bnch f y t hv ths tttds nd th bd prsnlts y ll d. f ws yr prnts wld b shmd f y nd snd y t th rm t gt y strghtnd t b th rm's strct dscpln. -Bkr

[Editors: this comment has been disemvoweled for being offensive.]

Yes and you and PPP are one of the worst cyclists shy of YB in Toronto

Troll Alert!

If I was your parents I would be ashamed of you and send you to the Army to get you straightened out by the Army's strict discipline.

What about the peace core or katimavik? Why does it always have to be about conflict and violence.

Y'd b chkn' dwn m rdrs f ws n th rm - ll y gt n thr s w blb(dmwt)

[Editors: this comment has been disemvoweled for being offensive.]

Cmprd t y nd yr wtt ncndscnt brn hv wtt Mrcr Vpr brn lctrc!

[Editors: part of this comment has been disemvoweled for being offensive.]

You make all kinds of false accusations about E-Bikes with no evidence or facts to back up your claims. When pressed to provide proof of your allegations you start spouting inflammatory remarks and start saying that real proof or evidence does not count. E-Bikes are a proven safe alternative vehicle throughout the world same as bicycles. Just because you do not like it does not make it untrue. Go talk to all the rest of the countries and cities about E-Bikes and the majority will have positive feedback. If you are unwilling to do that or do not want to here the truth then go back to your artificial online world and leave us real world safe vehicles alone. And the safety record of E-Bikes in other countries, provinces and other parts of Ontario itself does matter no matter what you say. Toronto and the TCU is NOT the center of the universe even though you think it is. In reality it is just a small group of cyclists (give or take 500 or so) that do not want to share the public paid biking infrastructure in ALL of Ontario. The TCU does not represent all of Ontario cyclists, it is only representative of 500 or so cyclists only, so it has no right to try and change the whole provinces laws. The only laws TCU should be able to change is Toronto's laws. So why are you not pressuring the Toronto officials only to change Toronto's laws. I guarantee Toronto does not want to be the only city in the world banning a safe alternative form of transportation for a very small number of people.

Again I say compare the safety record of E-Bikes to bicycles the world over and the truth will be shown. But the cyclists do not want to do that because they already know what the results will be. My guess is it will be around 40 bicycle accidents to every 1 E-bike accident or higher.

The TCU should stop being so selfish and actually work towards a better cycling future instead of improperly fighting every other user of our roads, if they do they will find most of us are willing to be allies instead of enemies. What you forge by October 3rd may make a difference between having allies work with the TCU to get more cycling infrastructure or enemies that will side with the gas vehicle and pedestrians against building new cycling infrastructure if the TCU gets scooter style E-Bike killed off the market (getting them classed as LSMs is the same thing as killing them off, look at what happened to the Mopeds). So make your choice, I know what the majority of the E-Bike riders will do if the TCU keeps up this elitest selfish stance. It will get harder for them if they do not stop this in time.

E-Biker

Maybe it's closer to me because I know someone who died from a cycling head injury... had she been wearing a helmet, she might still be with us. There are plenty of winter cycling options that include a helmet and warm headgear. I personally would support a law mandating helmets. We can differ on that. But given that it's such a simple (and cheap - a new $30-$50 helmet every couple of years) habit to adopt, why anyone wouldn't choose to wear a helmet when riding on busy city streets is beyond me.

As for your other argument... "I suppose we can't listen to music when road tripping in a car either by that standard?"... um, do wear headphones while driving?! I wasn't saying don't listen to music on a bike. There are small, clip-on speaker options for bikes. I was saying wearing headphones that block out surrounding noise is a terribly dangerous idea. Can't tell you how many times I've rang my bell to get the attention of a headphone-wearing cyclist, only to have him/her not hear me. I've even seen headphone-wearing cyclists not hear car horns.

We all choose what level of safety we're comfortable with, I guess. I just don't want MY safety jeapordized by someone who has chosen not to be able to hear and respond to what's going on the street.

Hear Hear. I second that. I cannot count how many times I saw a cyclist endanger themselves wearing earphones and not wearing a helmet. Bill 118 should be revised to include bicycles and E-Bikes as well. Because bicycles are a vehicle in the HTA laws so they should be included in that bill. And I do support mandatory bicycle helmet laws for all ages for safety's sake, it is just common sense.

E-Biker

I agree with a headphone or earbuds ban, you can't have a basic conversation while wearing them even when the volume is down. You won't hear when someone says "on you left" or rings their bell or the sound of a car behind you.
As far as helmets, look at Copenhagen cycling - they are rare and the hospitals aren't full of head injury cases. Let adults make up their own mind.

Just have a look at this:

http://www.sfbike.org/download/copenhagen/bicycle_account_...

The city of Copenhagen, as well as other European cities, have a MUCH different attitude towards bikes and cyclists than we do here. If it wasn't for Toronto drivers' (and to some extent, cyclists') us verus them mentality, I might feel safe enough to cycle without a helmet.

If you or anyone have gotten a ticket for say 'not putting your foot down at a stop sign or similar B.S.' tickets for which our finest are famous for please report them here. We will pass them onto the Bke Union and through them to the Police reps.

Sounds to me like the real problem is drivers attitudes, not helmet usage. Perhaps that's where we should direct, as a community, our efforts - not at dissing each other for making choices as adults.

How does it feel for you being treated unfairly for a change instead of the E-Bike Riders. Does not feel so good does it. Now remember how this feels before you continue on and try and unfairly get the scooter style E-Bikes off of the market with no real unproven reasons. I say the police should keep this up for a few months and maybe the cycling community may finally realize they should follow the rules more accurately.

E-Biker

It's not just drivers' attitudes. It's cyclists' attitudes as well. From what I see on my daily 25k roundtrip work commute, there's not a lot of love between the two groups. Until there is, I'll wear a helmet, adequate lighting and reflective clothing at night, and follow the laws of the road.

I was saying wearing headphones that block out surrounding noise is a terribly dangerous idea.

You never said that. You said no headphones period.
There are noise cancelling headphones and those are just dumb to wear if that is what you are refrencing now. No one uses those anyway especially when doing something like cycling.
As for regular headphones I can still hear bells, car horns and even a cars engine behind me while listening to music with them. It's just CS not to have them at max volume.

So I suppose a cars metal box w/ whitenoise from the engine/radio doesn't dampen sound either?

As well not everyone has 100$ extra dollars to buy clip on speakers and helmets for their bikes. That is the reality of this situation. Get your head out of the sand and you may realise that.

Cyclists are treated unfairly on a VERY regular basis. No doubt you're getting a taste of it as you traverse the bike lanes and deal with people parked in them, people cutting you off and having things occasionally thrown at you. (or maybe I'm just really unlucky. heh)

What about cyclists daily blowing or rolling through stop signs and stop lights, weaving in and out of traffic dangerously, riding on the sidewalks, riding dangerously fast on the bike paths, not having the proper safety bells/horns and lights at night time, etc, and usually not getting penalized for it. But when the police actually do enforce the laws rightfully against the cyclists then it is a tragedy that the poor cyclist is now being picked on. But does that same cyclist learn from the penalty and stop breaking the law, no he just goes back to breaking the law because he/she only has to worry about it once a year. Like everybody else says, if cyclists want respect and fairness on the roads then they had better smarten up and start treating the laws and other road users with respect. Till then you get the same treatment back that you portray out.

E-Biker

It's important we don't criticise cyclists and label them all under the same umbrella. E-Biker. It really doesn't bother me to see a cyclist on the sidewalk under certain situations, and it really isn't my business anyway. Thats up to police, and if they don't care, I don't care.
Having said that, I of course would never do it with my scooter style e-bike. The police may turn a blind eye to a cyclist but based on the look of my bike they would have the siren blaring and guns drawn. LOL
Most cyclists I come across couldn't care a less about me scooting along and I have had many nice conversations while riding with them. I have certainly heard stories of cyclists making lewd comments to e-bikers as they pedal by. but they are just morons with no manners with a serious lack of respect for mankind and should be pitied not hated. Their parents did a terrible job.
100 years from now, none of this will matter anyway. There will be electric cars and bikes and bicycles riding the roads of Toronto and hopefully getting along alot better than their great grandparents did.

Why, they are criticizing and labeling us, also they are going further and acting against us by trying to get us classified off of the roads. I just wish there was enough of us to convince the MTO to have mandatory helmet laws and have bicycles licensed and insured, that way we all have to pay to play.

E-Biker

No THEY are not. You can't blame an entire race because of a couple of jerks. We don't hate all white people because of the KKK do we? We don't hate all Germans because of the Nazis do we?
Lighten Up!

No its 500 to 700 jerks from the TCU.

E-Biker

I know of many that do not feel that way and you are labeling all of them and certainly not helping our cause. You are a poor representative of e-bikers. I really do not appreciate that kind of attitude from either side. If you have a problem with a poster, don't drag down the entire club.

Ironic, that you acuse me of making false accusations and having no facts to back it up my statements because, I haven't seen any solid data or conclusions from your finger-pointing posts. Perhaps you can prove an 80kg silent steel torpedo breaks less bones than 15kg one? no? ok... moving on.

TCU obviously has it's own interests, eScooters aren't in the TCU's interest(see a recent survey).. what are you crying about? That TCU won't just accept your cause - they don't have to So you'll call them all stupid. A real thinker you are. Geeze.

As far as whether or not escooters become and LSMs and "die off" isn't my concern, either the thing survives as an idea or it doesn't. No need for a false-economy here. So why do you need access to cyclists lanes - they're obviously not willing to share a bike lane with unstable 80kg moped with shitty brakes and a driver who isn't trained. If you think the TCU survey is invalid, think again... who is using those bike lanes most? TCU members!

** you got it **

p.s. there are easily 40x more bicycles in toronto than escooters, so please provide a per capita rate from that bag of "magical" statics you're using - thanks!

p.p.s the problem with your 5000w mercury vapour brain is that it's so bright it has blinded your common sense.

I agree completely. Helmets have been mandatory in BC for a few years and now cyclists are practically unheard of on the whole west coast. Statistically, there has only been a big revival of cycling in places without helmet laws.

Just look at history... the number of cars on the road dropped off dramatically when seatbell laws were introduced. The discomfort and "uncool" nature of seat belts has dissuaded many people from driving at all. Countries that have no seatbelt laws have incredible congestion, whereas places like Canada and the US, cars are practically unheard of these days.

All of these facts are 100% true.

i agree with the idea of giving tickets to cyclists who just blow through stop signs without even slowing down, because it is dangerous. But I also think it's pretty safe to slow down and look both ways. You can easily tell, while on a bike, if you are going to need to stop completely without having to kill your momentum.

Chris Thompson
TalkingToToddlers.com

Electric, you seem to be someone who likes science and research.

eScooters loaded to their total capacity have to come to a stop from a speed of 30 km/h within 9 metres, that's the braking standard set by CCMTA (http://www.ccmta.ca/english/pdf/power_assisted_cycles.pdf).

I honestly don't know, what is the brakes safety standard that conventional bicycles have to meet when they are loaded to their total capacity?

And if there isn't a federal standard, what is the typical braking distance for a bicycle carrying its total supportable weight, at 30 km/h?

Like I said, I honestly don't know. But if we're going to have a discussion, let's have an honest one with facts instead of fears.

A cyclist can haul themselves to a stop from 30km/h on dry concrete(adhesion coefficient 0.85, rolling coefficient 0.014) in 4.01 meters.... less than half the distance(9.0m) the CCMA says an eScooter should be required to stop in.

For sure an eScooter would plough right over the cyclist. It's 100% for sure if they're less than 5m behind the cyclist during emergency stop and factoring in the reaction time of the eScooter driver it's probably even more likely to collide with the cyclist.

If the scooter only weight 30-40lbs like your average bike, then it might be able to stop in the same 4.01 meters.

also, elbow and knee pads are a good idea
tks

Hi. Just to keep a little closer to the facts, the CCMTA doesn't set standards. Their doc from 2002 is just recommended "best practices" (not based on any real research AFAIK.) Only the Feds (Transport Canada) sets standards for vehicle design and performance. Provinces regulate ownership and operation. Municipalities can set limits on operation.
tks

ps...Sorry this is OT. "Funny" how this has veered off-track from an OP about fighting traffic tickets

Aye certain lighted intersections and stopsigns should be considered yields.

A lady yelled at me the other day for going through a stop sign w/o stopping in a very residential area.
The irony of it was that she didn't look both ways or any direction but forward when she started walking across the street. I saw her before she even stuck a foot out from the curb and compensated for her.
Yet this sanctimonous crone thinks she has the right to yell at me for not coming to a complete stop when I wasn't in her way at all, she only noticed me when I had passed behind her.

**** I can understand fighting for your right to listen to music.
Most states have adopted the seatbelt law by now ...... FOR YOUR SAFETY. That's what helmets are for too! How much research have you actually done on head injuries? I think if you understood the full impact of what a head injury involves, I hope you would be intelligent enough to retract your statement.
How does a person have a biclycle laying around, but can't afford a $10 helmet to save thousands of dollars in medical bills, or possibly your life. C'mon you're a teacher, right?

In case you haven't lived elsewhere, everywhere west of Ontario the pedestrian has the right-of-way at uncontrolled intersections, and where there is a painted crosswalk they also have the right of way. (i.e. at a Green light or stop sign)

One explanation I have heard is that these cities were largely populated after cars were invented so pedestrian rights and safety had to be protected. In older Upper Canada, the urban horse cart and trolley was always a feature and so they rule the roost.

Thanks for the math, Electric. So that 4.01 metres emergency stopping distance is for a bicycle carrying only a rider, but what is its stopping distance at maximum load capacity?

The 9m e-bike figure is the recommended braking distance for its maximum load capacity... including rider(s) and cargo. So in my case that 9m emergency stop figure is for a 75kg e-bike, an 80 kg (180 lb) rider and another 96 kg of cargo... basically a second 200lb passenger on the ebike.

By my admittedly bad math, by removing the imaginary 200 lb second person from my e-bike, I should be able to stop in about 5.5 meters, or 1M longer than your sample conventional bike. So if I observe a 1M distance between me and the bike ahead and don't tailgate, there will be no ploughing. And we all learned in Driver's Ed. not to tailgate, right?

Apologies to Lock for getting sidetracked OT from legalities and tickets. (Anyone ever head of a bike getting ticketed for tailgating?)

My math here is done.

Right On! Although pedestrians these daze can be a PITA, staggering around focused as they are on their yell phones and comm devices, really they are a threat to nobuddy.

That's how I see the priorities in urban travel anyway... Pedestrians first. Folks on two wheels second (and I mean ANY sort of two/three wheels that doesn't have seat belts and air bags and crush zones whatever), and a distant third are ppl in their -large,heavy,high-speed- motorized four-wheeled carriages, regardless whether they are blowing petrol smoke in our faces or loaded with batteries...)

If ya read about the early daze of the introduction of the velocipede and the ordinary and safety bikes, and the first collisions and deaths from autos, in the years before this there was plenty of mayhem on the roads from the (large, heavy and "high-speed" horse-drawn) carriage traffic...
tks

You said 9m, for 75kg(escooter) + 80 kg(rider) + 96kg(cargo) so about 250kg of load - now i'm really concerned... 9m is double the stopping distance of a bicycle, so that is about 550lbs following in the bike lane right behind you unable to stop in over twice the time it takes you to.

For perspective a "full loaded" 2000lb car takes about 11m to stop from 30km/h.

and... that is scary.

That 9m is only a recommendation - not the law. I'm sure manufacturers are jumping over each other to eat into their profit by putting better brakes on eScooters than the law says eScooters need.

So, you say that 9m figure is meaningless on average, ok, please provide me a real stopping distance of an unburdened e-bike, because your math was wrong.

Not sure if you're joking about tail-gating... and I also wish we could stop posting about e-bikes here... but people keep posting on this thread - which was started by a clearly confused e-biker.

"I also wish we could stop posting about e-bikes here... but people keep posting on this thread..."

Funniest line in this thread!

LOL

Actually, as of this moment i am not experiencing it but i will have the copy for future reference.

I think there is no harm in taking care of traffic rules but when it comes to traffic tickets.It comes no matter how much you try to avoid.