Cyclists, Drivers & Punishment

The CBC Radio One show “The 180” discussed the idea this morning that was first brought up by the Ottawa Police regarding fines and penalties for cyclists. The OPS would like to see demerit points deducted from cyclists I have been of mind that a cyclist, especially when he is also a holder of a Driver’s License should face the same penalty for breaking some of parts of the Ontario Highway Traffic Act.

My comments on Twitter seemed to have started something. As a cyclist and a driver I tweeted that I feel safer as a cyclist because I can better predict the actions of a car driver than someone on a bike. I do not look forward to better road conditions for my city driving because I expect to see even more cyclists on the road as the City of Ottawa improves current bike facilities and adds more. This is a good thing; more cyclists and better facility make Ottawa a better city all around.

As the argument unfolds a few Ottawa cyclists and Twitter users chime in, I seem to be on the ‘wrong’ side of this argument. Cyclists are sticking up for Cyclist, but nowhere are there drivers seeking to join in. Last month I wrote about how the OPS also sought to charge cyclists with distracted driving (cycling), it’s a rare event to see, but when I see it it’s distracting to me. This post is an extension of that…

It seems to me that those who are against the idea do not ‘get’ that a cyclist who has had to pass a drivers test and has knowledge of the HTA should not be held accountable for breaking the same laws on a bike that we assume they would not break in their cars. Is that so far fetched?

To hear what stated this today visit and listen to the podcast.

I invite you to share your ideas by commenting to this post or any post on my blog. You can also email me directly at

I can be found Twitter @robertdekker, on Facebook at

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