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This is the second morning in a row that I've seen somebody on a bicycle pulled over going down Shaw where the hill has just started, and behind a big hedge at Essex, south of Hallam, bang! a police car peels out to catch the unlucky biker. This is a place that bikes have a lot of momentum, and nobody stops at the sign. It also feels so safe, being a one way street.
I commiserated as best I could with sympathetic looks, and murmurs
"That sucks!" but I have to admit, I was kind of glad it wasn't me.
Also on this topic: I got a $110 fine for not having a bell on my bike riding West on Dundas between I think University and St. Patrick. Hadn't done anything wrong, just biking by in an otherwise completely legal manner. $110! I can't say it made me feel fondly about my local law enforcement personnel, or approval regarding the priorities of my municipal government.
Anyway, when I left the cop stepped right back out into the street and stopped the next cyclist to come by. I calculate that tactic is worth about $1200/hour to the city.
I suggest you fight the ticket with so much backlog the city is cancelling tickets before they get to court
Sorry to hear about the fine, Matt. Interestingly, a car parked in a bicycle lane will get fined $60 (if it gets fined at all, or if the driver doesn't just drive off before being served), which is not nearly as lucrative! An interesting take on this issue can be found here... http://bikeunion.to/clipping/bike-lane-backlash
You can take the ticket to York Civic Center, a big building on the north side of Eglinton just west of Keele, and take it to the wickets just to the right after you enter the building, and they will tell you how to apply for a court date. Be sure to tick the box that says you are challenging the ticket. The wicket person will also be able to tell you of any outstanding tickets you may have, and you can do the same thing with them.
I fought a bike related ticket last year and outlined the process on my blog here :__
Definitely plead not guilty. You can't be found not guilty once you've said you are even if the cop doesn't show up in court. You can also plead poverty or financial hardship to get fines reduced. It helps to be polite, I've learned, and not to answer the judge back. You won't be able to slam the door as you leave the court room because this has happened so often that they've attached special springs.
If it's any consolation, they've cracked down as hard or harder on vehicles and the demerit points make your insurance go up. You certainly can't do a rolling stop in this city. I've gone to one of those ex-cop places "Traffic Ticket Info Centre" and they got me off completely on a stop sign trap and a reduced fine and no demerit points for another trap infraction. A bit pricey at $300 a pop but if self-employed a deductible expense and you don't have to go to court whatever the outcome. They become your agent.
Someone else also told me that if you plead "Guilty with an explanation" and then the cop doesn't show up, you will still have some sort of a fine. Well, this does not appear to be true. I recently pleaded guilty with an explanation (it was a car offense) and it was thrown out because the cop didn't show!!!