This morning, the Montréal police began ‘sensitivity training’ for cyclists who wear earphones. This led me to some investigations of the regulations that have already been promulgated by the Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec, almost all of which I infringe on my way to work each morning. Interesting omissions include: bike helmets (provincially, some municipalities in Montreal require them) and bells (strangely, I hear bells are now required in the city of Calgary).
The highway safety Code is accessible on here and lists the various infractions that apply across the province. I especially like the color coding reflector requirement. Not pedantic at all. Here is a brief summary: Every bicycle must carry at least (1) one white reflector at the front; (2) one red reflector at the rear; (3) one amber reflector on each pedal; (4) one reflector attached to the spokes of the front wheel; (5) one reflector attached to the spokes of the back wheel. Any equipment or object placed on a bicycle that blocks a prescribed reflector must be provided with a reflector that complies with the first paragraph. (art 232 – $15 dollar fine). You can’t wear headphones (art 440 – $30 to $60 dollar fine), you must “sit astride the bicycle” and hold the handle bars (so much for my new extreme sport of bike surfing) (art 477 – $30-$60 dollar fine). Don’t double (art 485 – $15 dollar fine), don’t drink booze and bicycle (art 489), and don’t ride against traffic (art 487).
Here is a bit of my twitter banter with the Police and the Societe d’Assurance Automobile de Quebec this morning. I have to say, it’s nice of them to reply:
SPVM: Interdits les écouteurs à vélo! – Activité de sensibilisation St Urbain/Laurier. #Velo #VeloMtl #SecuriteRoutiere
Adrianthorogood : @SPVM How much are the fines going to be? I need to factor this into my budget. #Velo #VeloMtl #SecuriteRoutiere
Adrianthorogood: @SAAQ the enforcement of regulations like 440 CSR should be based in evidence. Where can I access your studies that headphones kill? #1984
SPVM: @Adrianthorogood That would be 52$. Have a nice day. #VeloMtl#Velo #SecuriteRoutiere
Adrianthorogood: One more question – 439.1 CSR doesn’t apply to bikes explicitly like 440. Can I still bike and use cellphone?
SAAQ : @Adrianthorogood Le cellulaire n’est pas interdit aux vélos. Par contre, la SAAQ ne le recommande pas car ça augmente les risques.
Adrianthorogood: @SAAQ @SPVM enlevez-nous nos écouteurs, enterrez-nous d’amendes, mais on va continuer à chanter en velo!! #VeloMtl #Velo#SecuriteRoutiere