Cyclists licensing and mandatory helmets on the horizon?

Councillor Walker,

seconded by Councillor Hall

Councillors Walker, and Hall have put forth motions to will require licensing and mandatory helmets in the City of  Toronto is they are approved.

Excepts from the motions….

Councillor Walker, seconded by Councillor Hall, recommends that:


1. City Council enact a by-law to mandate that all cyclists must wear helmets on roads

and sidewalks in the City of Toronto.

Summary


Recently, City Council has prioritized the user groups in public space and public roads within

the City of Toronto. The four groups are prioritized as follows: 1) pedestrians; 2) cyclists; 3)

transit riders; and lastly, 4) vehicle drivers.


Since cyclists are now considered as priority #2 on the public highway, it is being modified to

accommodate these cyclists. Accordingly, with more space on our roads being given over to

cyclists, more rights are being given over to cyclists, and with increased rights come increased

responsibility. Cyclists need to be made aware of this increased responsibility for safe use of

our roads.


Safe use of our roads must include the safety of the cyclists themselves; cyclists must be

protected against the foreseeable dangers on our roads. Conflict between cyclists, cars and most

particularly trucks, and as well conflict between cyclists themselves, create potentially

dangerous conditions. A collision between a cyclist and a car or truck can result in life-altering

injuries or death, particularly for the cyclist involved. A collision between a cyclist and another

cyclist can also result in a serious outcome, if not from the impact itself, then because of the

cyclists falling into oncoming vehicular traffic which results in another collision. It is not at all

rare for a cyclist to experience a disabling head injury from a collision and for that cyclist to

become incapacitated and not be able to provide for his or her family.

2


Cyclists have equipment at their disposal to increase their safety, such as sounding bells,

reflectors, lights and helmets. By far, the most important safety equipment to the cyclist is the helmet.

Councillor Walker, seconded by Councillor Hall, recommends that:

1. The Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards develop a cyclist licensing

program, in consultation with the Ontario Ministry of Transportation, to be brought

forward to City Council.

Recently, City Council prioritized the user groups in public space and public roads within the

City of Toronto. The four groups are prioritized as follows: 1) pedestrians; 2) cyclists;

3) transit riders; and lastly, 4) vehicle drivers.

Accordingly, with more space on roads being shared with cyclists, there is an increased

responsibility to ensure public safety for cyclists. Cyclists need to be made aware of this

increased responsibility for safe use of our roads. Also, City Council needs to put in place a

system to adequately regulate cyclists in a manner commensurate with their increased rights

and responsibilities.

Bicycle Operator/Cyclist licensing is a method of increasing awareness of the existing rules and

regulations applicable to cyclists, such as the Highway Traffic Act. Also, licensing provides for

a formalized relationship between the City and cyclists which the City can use to promote safe

use of bicycles, highlighting requirements for mandatory bicycle equipment such as soundingbells,

reflectors and lights. Furthermore, licensing would provide for more effective

enforcement of the applicable laws and clarify collision situations. Currently, there is not a

requirement for a cyclist to carry personal identification so it is difficult for Police or citizens to

manage collisions between pedestrians, cyclists and drivers due to the fact that a cyclist can just

walk away from the incident; this is particularly troubling if the cyclist is at fault. Also, it is

difficult for a Police officer to give a ticket for a moving violation of the Highway Traffic Act

to a cyclist who is not required to have personal identification on their person and therefore few

tickets are issued.


9 Comments

Until there are bike lanes on every single roadway in Ontario, this motion is nothing more than a cash grab and a deterrent for anyone who just wants go go for a leisurely ride once in a while.
Councillor Walker and Councillor Hall learn your history, bike licensing was abolished in the mid '70 because it just didn't work. Leave us cyclist alone.

I think a helmet law is good. We have public health care, and it costs money. The more serious injuries we can avoid by imposing this kind of safety measure is a public good. I do find it weird that they are mandating helmets on sidewalks, when i don't think it's legal to rid your bike on the sidewalk.

It is legal to ride a bike on a sidewalk if the rims are 20" or less, kids bikes, and it's already mandatory to wear a helmut if you are under 18.

Isn't interesting that in localities where there more bicycle use (ie. Europe), there is less helmet use. Where there are less bicycle use (ie. North America), there is more helmet use, with legislation to enforce as well. Must be the cars.

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