Montreal police to ease up on cyclists

Montreal police say they'll be somewhat more lenient in interpreting the rules of the road for cyclists this season, in an effort to improve the sometimes tense relations between police and cyclists.

The force has announced it will relax its application of three different types of Highway Safety Code infractions.

For instance, cyclists can wear at least one earphone — provided it's part of a hands-free phone.

"A cyclist could be riding and holding a cellphone, talking on the phone, and they're not committing an infraction," says Cmdr. André Durocher, the force's point man on traffic safety. "If they're doing the same thing, but listening to music, they would be committing an infraction."

One in three collisions are caused by inattention, and very often, it's because people use both headphones to play music.

Cyclists also won't have to place at least one foot down on the ground when they come to an intersection or a stop, and the force will also be more lenient with those nighttime cyclists who don't have a white light on the front of their bikes, a red light on the back, and adequate reflectors. Instead of handing out tickets, bike patrols intend on handing out lights to cyclists.

Cmdr. Durocher says they'll apply common sense when it comes to issuing fines for cyclists who flout the rules of the road, but the force will nonetheless pay attention to cyclists' more risky behaviors — particularly in the smartphone age.

"I find it hard to conceive that you have to convince people, particularly cyclists, because they're vulnerable on the road compared to vehicles...to say [they're] probably better off if you're aware of you're environment; not listening to music and texting on a bicycle."

Texting while on a bike, he says, happens more often than you might think. "At least once a day," Durocher says.

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  1. Barcham posted on 04/14/2014 04:30 PM
    And when I hit one of those inattentive cyclists with my car, will I receive any lenience? The same rules that apply to motorists and cell phones should also apply to cyclists. The distraction is the same and a cyclist may well go through an intersection on a red light because he is distracted by talking on his phone. This is absolutely ridiculous. And when are cyclists going to finally contribute their part by having to buy a license for their chosen mode of transportation every year?
    1. mandy posted on 06/16/2014 09:53 AM
      @Barcham A bike does not pollute nor does it take up space on the road nor are the roads designed for bikes. Not creating pollution or noise is our contribution.
  2. Peter Jowett posted on 04/14/2014 04:59 PM
    Are you kidding, these yoyos need to obey the same rules that apply to all traffic. On top of watching out for cyclist running red lights and stop signs, I now have to watch for an idiot who wants to ride and talk on the phone. And how many will be texting. Tell these cyclist to put a bullseye on the back of their shirt.
  3. Richard posted on 04/14/2014 05:47 PM
    Instead of handing out tickets they will be handing out reflectors?

    Are you kidding me?
    What's next? Handing out money to bank robbers?
    Cyclists already have no respect for anyone or the rules of the road and now they cops are backing them up!!!!!!!

    Only in Quebec
    1. moohead posted on 06/16/2014 09:55 AM
      @Richard The only accident I have ever had in over 20 years of biking was when a person opened a car door infront of me.. other than that I spend my time on my bike watching for car drivers doing what ever they like - talking on phone, not indicating, not looking behind them, not checking mirrors..
  4. LMAO posted on 04/14/2014 10:29 PM
    Montreal police say they'll be somewhat more lenient in interpreting the rules of the road for cyclists this season, in an effort to improve the sometimes tense relations between police and cyclists.

    Lets hope they don't adopt the same tactics with drunk drivers to mend that relationship. Only in Quebec.
  5. Juge posted on 04/15/2014 07:49 AM
    WHAT?? Leniency for cyclists? How much more leniency can the police give cyclist that they don't already give them? They don't stop them for going through red lights nor stop signs, zigging and zagging through traffic like a snake in the forest, riding against the flow of traffic, riding without helmets, riding in the car lane at a pace that slows traffic to a crawl despite the fact they have bicycle lanes specially built for them. Point in fact; all the cyclists on Sherbrooke St when there is a cycling lane on de Maisonneuve. I could go on for hours. NO!! It is not time for leniency. It is time for cracking down on cyclists once and for all.
  6. George73 posted on 04/15/2014 04:24 PM
    Really, let's be lenient on home-grown cyclists who cannot obey traffic signals, and continue to persecute out of province drivers whose vehicles registered outside of Quebec do not comply with the window tinting regulations specific to Quebec.

    Does Quebec only want tourists who fly into Dorval and then rent a car?

    Cyclists shouldn't get a free pass on disobeying the highway code. They don't even pay for their road use, unlike drivers. And before they bleat about the fact that they pay taxes also - so do car drivers. Income/property taxes are the same regardless of the mode of transportation one chooses to use.
    1. crow posted on 06/16/2014 09:58 AM
      @George73 Drivers pay for the polluting the air with ghgs and noise .. cars are extremely damaging to the planet - so you should pay more than a biker. Bikes should be kept cheap and user friendly so that you don't have to be rich to have a means of transportation - come up dude -- share a bit .
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