Saturday night, I leave a show after several drinks, but not enough to impair my motor skills enough to prevent me from riding my bike. Basically I'm accused of running two red lights and a stop sign while evading a bike cop.
I continue to bike around and I see a bike cop and he yells at me to get on the sidewalk, I enquirer what its about and he claims riding on the sidewalk, evading police and running red lights and stop signs. This is around 10 mins after I left my friends, riding on the sidewalk at walking speed along side them. As he is writing out the tickets he starts to look over my bike for any reason to give me more tickets, says I don't have reflectors, I point out that I have DOT and Transport Canada compliant reflective tape on both wheels as well as front and back, he nails me with a ticket for no headlight.
In my defense as far as evading him goes, I said how am I supposed to identify someone dressed in all black with a white light, and no red and or blue lights and I believe that's why he canceled the evading police ticket.
These tickets totaled $560 (more then that particular bike)AND the kicker is I actually get driver penalty points against my drivers license! 4 points for each red light. and each point costs 25 bucks come renewal time, as well as higher insurance premium ON MY MOTOR VEHICLE. So this will end up costing me over $1000
The possible loophole: Saskatoon bylaw #6884 references the highway traffic act then goes on to state in section 24 "except to the extent that they are inconsistent herewith, the relevant provisions of both the traffic bylaw and the highway traffic act are applicable to the operations of a bicycle in the city of Saskatoon" and section 23 of the bylaw states the breach of any provisions of this bylaw shall be set forth in schedule b hereto" and Schedule B in short, states that any infraction is subject to a $50 fine, with further reduction to $25 if paid within 14 days. So, these tickets I received should carry a maximum fine of $25.
One red light ticket will most definitely be thrown out in court as he sited a non existent criminal code, which almost proves incompetency as he wrote what was supposed to be two identical tickets (aside from being different lights)
As far as the definition of a vehicle goes, A bike is in fact a vehicle, so that brings me to my next point, the officer completely skipped the section for a vehicle description on the ticket. Why? does he feel that spot is only reserved for motor vehicles, well its not by definition. What is there to say it was not another cyclist who is guilty of the accused offenses?
There is just far too much grey area to blanket bicycles with all the rules and regulations of a motor vehicle. There is just no way to compare the two in terms of what equipment is needed on them, how they operate, government regulated standards for inspections, the lack of licensing and insurance, and even so far as to the complete lack of a "bicycle ed" course or a road cyclist test to make sure you are adequately trained to ride a bicycle as is the case when getting a drivers license.
sparknotes:outrun bike cops, get caught later, $560 dollars in tickets, found possible loophole in bylaws.