Well, well. Toronto's finest have been known to lay some dumb charges against cyclists over the years. Like the infamous tickets for not putting your foot down when stopping at a stop sign. Now, for many years, I have heard lots of reports about them trying to hand out demerit points to those cyclists who had a driver's license while handing out tickets. I think not. Read below and please contact Advocacy for Respect for Cyclists if you have been treated that way over a traffic ticket while riding your bike.
The following is the official word from the City about this issue:
Correction: The June issue of Cyclometer contains incorrect information about the Highway Traffic Act as it applies to bicycles. We apologize for the error. Please note of the following correction:
The HTA defines bicycles are defined as vehicles. As vehicle operators, cyclists are subject to most of the same HTA requirements as drivers of motor vehicles. However, there are some important differences. The application of demerit points is an important difference.
According the the Ontario Ministry of Transportation, "the demerit point system only applies to certain offenses committed in a motor vehicle. However, I understand that on rare occasions demerit points are in error assigned to the driving record of an individual for an offense committed on a bicycle. When the Ministry of Transportation is notified of such occurrences, the error is immediately corrected." (1993 letter from Ontario Minister of Transportation to the Chair of the Toronto Cycling Committee)
We continue to hear that cyclists are being charged with demerit points in error. If you are being given a summons by a police officer ask them to clearly indicate that the "vehicle type" is "bicycle" on the Provincial Offenses Notice. If the notice is submitted to the Ministry of Transportation without a bicycle being indicated then it could be
mistakenly coded as a motor vehicle offense.
Note: Some of the fines listed in Cyclometer were also incorrect. The fine for running a red light on a bike or motor vehicle is $190. Bikes are required to have a front light and a rear reflector beginning a half hour before sunset until a half hour after sunrise.
For more information on the fines for cycling offenses Visit