Toronto Police Services have respond to national team cyclist Noah Ramsay who was ticketed twice in High Park. David Shellnutt, a.k.a The Biking Lawyer, said that a cop was waiting in the empty park when Ramsay was training on April 20. “TPS Constable Hall spent valuable time and resources ticketing cyclists for safe yields, Idaho stops,” the lawyer explained.
Safer venue to ride
Ramsay was training in High Park as he felt safe there, having had negative experiences with violent drivers.
“In 2022, Noah was training near Port Credit when a motorist, furious at him for being on the road, became so irate he pulled a gun on him. With that experience in mind and seeing the weather forecast, Noah decided to cycle in High Park. He feels safe from motorists there and he knew with snow in the air pedestrians would be scarce,” Shellnutt added.
Lousy weather meant no one was there
Furthermore, since the weather was awful, Ramsay figured it was fine since there was no one else there.
“I had to work out with a few cadence and short sprints planned so I wanted to do it, or I would have to deal with fewer cars and things of that sort. I stopped for a moment at the top of Colborne Lodge, and as I continued with my ride, a cop was driving up the hill and saw me. He followed me towards the north gates, but as they saw, I was just doing laps of the park,” Ramsay said.
The police officer waited for him at the north end of the park to do another lap.
“As I came by him, he pulled out from behind me, but there were two cars in front of me at the stop sign, the first car went, and as the second car rolled up to the stop I saw he didn’t signal, so I slowly rolled next to him, and slowly rolled a left-hand turn then continued on, and the officer followed me south, and turned on his lights and pulled me over. And he gave me my first ticket.”
Letter to Toronto Police Services
Shellnutt emailed Toronto Police Services asking why valuable resources were being used in the empty park.
“When Noah and one motorist (side by side) each slowly rolled the stop at Colborne Lodge Road, the TPS officer engaged his emergency lights and siren. He pulled Noah over, issuing him a $110 fail-to-stop ticket,” Shellnutt wrote. “The TPS officer inexplicably drove the opposite way on the road in High Park (against traffic) and sat waiting, facing oncoming traffic, as Noah completed another lap. As Noah approached another stop sign, he ensured the way was clear (no pedestrians or vehicles). He reduced his speed markedly and continued through the stop sign. TPS Officer Hall floored it, chased Noah down and issued a second failure-to-stop ticket.”
In each case, there weren’t any pedestrians at or near the stop signs, the lawyer added.
On Wednesday, the police responded with a letter.
“On behalf of the Toronto Police Service (TPS),” the letter reads, “I would like to thank you for bringing this to our attention. The TPS is committed to ensuring the safe use of the roadways by both cyclists and motorist in all areas of the City of Toronto, including High Park. We will continue to patrol the city’s roadways to enforce the Highway Traffic Act and will issue tickets for violators regardless of the type of vehicle that is being operated. Please be advised that as Highway Traffic Act charges have been laid against Mr. Ramsay and those charges will need to proceed through the ordinary court process. Thank you again for bringing this situation to our attention.”