COLUMN: Enforce laws, not make new laws

SOUTH DUNDAS — The provincial government needs to move on enforcing existing laws when it comes to cyclists on the road, before creating new laws.

The new law, passed by the Ontario Legislature, enacted new regulations on cycling in Ontario. The problem is, that all but one of the changes affects motorized vehicle drivers. Only one regulation, operating a bicycle without a light or reflector, levies a fine to the cyclist. Every other regulation targets motorized drivers.

Not that I disagree with fines for stupid car owners who carelessly open their door into a cyclist passing by (a practice known as Dooring), but why has there not been enforcement of laws covering cyclists?

Look around the next time you go through a neighbourhood, count the number of kids riding their bikes without helmets. Drive to the local corner store and see how many kids and adults are riding their bikes on the wrong side of the road. A hint: bicycles are vehicles and are to ride the same side and direction as the rest of vehicles on the road.  Where is the enforcement of those laws? There isn’t any, because the ticketing amount is so minor. Why ticket $50 to a kid for not wearing a helmet when you can ticket the driver of a car $500 for not giving one metre of space for a cyclist?

And that’s where the real rub is. Even when it comes to people texting-and-driving. There are laws on the books to cover that, and have been for 50+ years. It’s called Reckless Driving. That law has some teeth too. Fines, jail time, demerit points, and loss of your Driver’s License.

Before the progressive government in Queen’s Park comes up with more “great ideas” of how to make the roads safer, perhaps they should start enforcing existing laws equally on all users of the road.

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