Bicycle violations under microscope

Warmer weather will bring out cyclers, and police will be enforcing unsafe bicycling practices

With the warmer weather, and increase in bicycle traffic, enforcement of unsafe bicycling practices will soon be a focus for police.

A common sight these days is that of someone on a bicycle, without a helmet, going down the wrong side of the road or on a sidewalk.

All cyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as motorists under the Motor Vehicle Act, which means they must obey stop signs, traffic lights and traffic direction just like cars and trucks. Bicycles must also be equipped with proper lights and reflectors to be operated at night.

Fines range from $29 for no helmet, to $109 for an improperly equipped bicycle or unsafe habits such as cycling with no hands on the handlebar.

The Motor Vehicle Act also allows for a guardian to be ticketed for allowing a child under 15 to ride without a helmet.

Some common bicycle violations:

• No Helmet – $29

• Ride after dark without lights – $109

• Operate cycle without brakes – $109

• Fail to signal while turning – $109

• Cycling with no hands on handlebar – $109

• Ride on sidewalk – $109

• Fail to ride cycle on right side of road – $109

Motor Assisted Cycles will also see the spotlight as they have all the same rules as bicycles, except you must be at lease 16 years old to operate them on a roadway.

Passengers on a bicycle, or motor assisted cycle, are not permitted unless it is specifically designed to carry one.

For more information on bicycle safety, required equipment and your rights/duties as a cyclist, go to www.bikesense.bc.ca