Some Twitter users have posted several videos of Toronto bike cops riding through stop signs, which given the ongoing ticketing blitz, has left many cyclists a bit irked. The police began ticketing cyclists in High Park in 2021, but the last few months has seen a massive increase in police presence.
David Shellnutt, also known as the Biking Lawyer, has written an open letter to Toronto police chief Ramer as well as Mayor John Tory about the strange optics of it all.
“As lawyers for seriously injured cyclists, we encourage hyper vigilance and proactivity when it comes to the protection of vulnerable road users. We seek out and support changes to the law that make our streets safer. We always want the safety of cyclists to be top of mind for anyone who has the power to protect people on bikes,” Shellnutt writes.
He goes on to write that with a third video in a week surfacing of Toronto Police Service bicycle officers riding contrary to the Highway Traffic Act, committing multiple infractions, the city should take action. Shellnutt believes that the city should withdraw all tickets issued against cyclists in High Park and on Shaw Street in August 2022 for the Highway Traffic Act offense of Failure to Stop (where no injury or collision resulted from the infraction.)
He also suggests that the police and the City of Toronto should review the merits of the Idaho Stop/safe cycling yield.
Shellnutt goes onto say that additionally, funding should be used to conduct cyclist related TPS enforcement blitzes to Cycle Toronto for the creation and dissemination of safe cycling videos, including but not limited to how people on bikes can and should safely perform a safe yield or
Idaho Stop. Finally, he says that Toronto Police’s popular Traffic Services social media accounts should promote these safe cycling videos to all road users in a public education campaign.
You can check out three videos of police rolling through stop signs below.
— James McLeod (@jamespmcleod) September 10, 2022