Sure, they may be on two, manually-propelled wheels, but according to Toronto city bylaws, cyclists are in the same category as motorists when it comes to “careless driving.”
According to Municipal Code Bylaw 950-30, “no person shall ride a bicycle, skateboard, longboard, in-line skate or roller-skates, coaster, scooter, toy vehicle, toboggan, sleight or similar device on a sidewalk recklessly or negligently or at a speed or in a manner that is dangerous to the public, having regard to the circumstances.” The fine for this offence is $90.
In addition, Toronto City Council adopted a staff report recommendation that Toronto’s sidewalk cycling bylaw that stipulates “no person age 14 and older may ride a bicycle on a sidewalk. The fine for an adult who rides a bicycle on a sidewalk shall be $60.”
The intent of this bylaw is to allow young children to cycle on the sidewalk while they learn to ride. This is a Toronto Municipal Code bylaw and so rules will vary in different communities across Ontario.
But the law goes further.
According to the Ontario Highway Traffic Act, bicycles are vehicles and so “cyclists may be charged with the HTA offences of careless driving.” The fines for “careless driving” range from $400 to $2,000.
So, to recap: While you may think your two-wheeled mode of transportation keeps you removed from the rules of the road, it’s a good idea to practice good road sense at all times, or be prepared to pay the price – literally and figuratively.