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Behind-the-Wheel

Dear Cop - Walking Bike

I have two questions for you. First off, people are getting into quite the frenzy about the title you have. Does Dear Cop offend you? I seem to think not or it wouldn't be like that!?

Secondly I was traveling down Highway thirty-three and I came to the cross road of Rutland Rd. I was making a right hand turn and the light was green, so I did a shoulder check, yield and proceeded to turn into my own lane. At the same time there was also a vehicle turning left onto Rutland Rd.

Partially through my turn both myself and the driver turning left had to slam on the brakes and we were both stuck in the intersection momentarily. A person on a bike, with no helmet was riding her bike through the crosswalk on a "Do not walk" signal. We both exchanged a couple of words as I was close to hitting her, but my question is, Are you not supposed to walk your bike through a crosswalk (and not ride on the sidewalk) when the signal permits? And aren't you supposed to wear a helmet when riding your bike??

J.W.

Answer From Dear Cop
I would like to begin by writing that the salutation "Dear Cop" is not offensive to myself. The word "COP" has been in use for a long time. The word COP comes from an English acronym which stands for "Constable On Patrol". Considering the nouns available to people to refer to a police officer, I am quite happy with the term COP.

In response to your second question, I will write about the rights and duties of operators of cycles. Section 183 (1) of the Motor Vehicle Act states in addition to the duties imposed by this section, a person operating a cycle on a highway has the same rights and duties as a driver of a vehicle.

(2) A person operating a cycle
(a) must not ride on a sidewalk unless authorized by a bylaw made under section 124 or unless otherwise directed by a sign,
(b) must not, for the purpose of crossing a highway, ride on a crosswalk unless authorized to do so by a bylaw made under section 124 or unless otherwise directed by a sign,
(c) must, subject to paragraph (a), ride as near as practicable to the right side of the highway,
(d) must not ride abreast of another person operating a cycle on the roadway,
(e) must keep at least one hand on the handlebars,
(f) must not ride other than on or astride a regular seat of the cycle,
(g) must not use the cycle to carry more persons at one time than the number for which it is designed and equipped, and
(h) must not ride a cycle on a highway where signs prohibit their use.

Bicycle safety helmets
Section 184 (1) of the Motor Vehicle Act states a person commits an offence if that person operates or rides as a passenger on a cycle on a highway and is not properly wearing an approved bicycle safety helmet as designated by the Motor Vehicle Act.

(2) A parent or guardian of a person under the age of 16 years commits an offence if the parent or guardian authorizes or knowingly permits the person to operate or ride as a passenger on a cycle on a highway if that person is not properly wearing an approved bicycle safety helmet as designated by the Motor Vehicle Act.

If a cyclist chooses to ride on the side walk, the fine is $109. If a cyclist rides on or in a crosswalk in order to cross a roadway, the fine is $109. If a cyclist is not wearing a helmet, the fine is $29.

Constable R.A.(Richard) ASELTON
Central Okanagan Traffic Services - Media Liaison


More Behind the Wheel articles

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About the Author

Tim Schewe is a retired constable with many years of traffic law enforcement experience. He has been writing his column for most of the 20 years of his service in the RCMP.

The column was 'The Beat Goes On' in Fort St. John, 'Traffic Tips' in the South Okanagan and now 'Behind the Wheel' on Vancouver Island and here on Castanet.net.

Schewe retired from the force in January of 2006, but the column has become a habit, and continues.

To comment, please email

To learn more, visit DriveSmartBC



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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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