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  1. #1
    rbs
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    Ontario Proposes Changes to HTA for Bicycle Lights

    They're also increasing fines for drivers who 'door' cyclists, but I'm focusing on the fines for lighting. Minimum $60, max. $500 for not having proper lights.

    I note that a flashing red light at the rear now replaces the requirement for a reflector (thank god - cause looks are everything!), but it looks like it replaces the requirement for a front facing light as well (not sure that was the intention).

    Want I want to know is can I get a distracted driving conviction for playing with my GPS while riding


    Ontario Introduces Comprehensive Road Safety Bill

    Bill 173, Highway Traffic Amendment Act (Keeping Ontario's Roads Safe), 2014


    12. (1) Subsection 62 (14) of the Act is amended by striking out “Subject to subsections (14.1) and (15)” at the beginning and substituting “Subject to subsections (14.1), (15) and (17.1)”.

    (2) Subsection 62 (17) of the Act is repealed and the following substituted:

    Lights and reflectors on bicycles, etc.

    (17) When on a highway at any time from one-half hour before sunset to one-half hour after sunrise and at any other time when, due to insufficient light or unfavourable atmospheric conditions, persons and vehicles on the highway are not clearly discernible at a distance of 150 metres or less, every motor-assisted bicycle and bicycle (other than a unicycle) shall carry a lighted lamp displaying a white or amber light on its front and a lighted lamp displaying a red light or a reflector on its rear, and in addition white reflective material shall be placed on its front forks, and red reflective material covering a surface of not less than 250 millimetres in length and 25 millimetres in width shall be placed on its rear.

    Same

    (17.1) A bicycle may carry a lamp that produces intermittent flashes of red light on its rear at any time, and may do so instead of or in addition to the lighted lamp or reflector required by subsection (17).

    (3) Subsection 62 (18) of the Act is repealed.


    edited - copied the wrong fines the first time

  2. #2
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    When on a highway? So if I only ride on local roads and not on highways, then what?
    Maybe I should just get a unicycle...

  3. #3
    rbs
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    Quote Originally Posted by aerius View Post
    When on a highway? So if I only ride on local roads and not on highways, then what?
    Maybe I should just get a unicycle...
    I caught that too. Unicycles are now the choice of transport for stealthy people.

  4. #4
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    GTA
    Ontario

  5. #5
    Team NFI
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    Ah...let the internet self righteousness and stupidity begin.
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  6. #6
    sheep in FOX clothing
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enduramil View Post
    Ah...let the internet self righteousness and stupidity begin.
    You called?

    I'm not sure what's worse. That the range of fines for dooring somebody and not having 20* square inches of reflective tape on your bike now overlap, or that motorist commentators are very upset about this.

    Apparently they door people often enough that they think this represents a tax grab, and an unacceptable increase in the cost of living (and the cost of dooring?)

    Nevertheless, there seems to be no mention here of even trying to get cyclists out of the door zone to begin with. I mean.... well they'd be out in the part of the road that CARS use then, and people would get really upset....


    * - or maybe 40, depending how you read this.

  7. #7
    sheep in FOX clothing
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    Quote Originally Posted by W. J. Lucas, M.D., C.C.F.P. Regional Coroner for Toronto, 1998;

    It is not practical, (and in some cases impossible) for most modern bicycles to accommodate the amounts of tape now required by the H.T.A. Clothing with reflective tape or material could enhance cyclists' visibility when there is insufficient light. The intent of this section is that the cyclist and his or her vehicle should be visible. Some degree of flexibility in how this is to be achieved would be desirable.
    Not only did they ignore his advice to revise the old statute, but they actually repeated it mm-for-mm in the new legislation.


    Quote Originally Posted by W. J. Lucas, M.D., C.C.F.P. Regional Coroner for Toronto, 1998;
    Section 148(6) Bicycles Overtaken
    Every person on a bicycle or a motor assisted bicycle who is overtaken by a vehicle or an equestrian traveling at a greater speed shall turn out to the right......

    This regulation re-enforces the negative idea that cyclists should "get out of the way". Section 148(6), should therefore be omitted from the Act
    That regulation is going nowhere.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruiser View Post
    You called?
    Sorry if my grouchiness and sarcasm post being squeezed into a snow bank courtesy of Kingston Transit was a little high.
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  9. #9
    rbs
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruiser View Post
    Not only did they ignore his advice to revise the old statute, but they actually repeated it mm-for-mm in the new legislation.

    But, they do now allow that a flashing red light can replace the reflective tape. That's a step forward.

  10. #10
    Ms. Monster
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    Quote Originally Posted by rbs View Post
    every motor-assisted bicycle and bicycle (other than a unicycle) shall carry a lighted lamp displaying a white or amber light on its front and a lighted lamp displaying a red light or a reflector on its rear, and in addition white reflective material shall be placed on its front forks, and red reflective material covering a surface of not less than 250 millimetres in length and 25 millimetres in width shall be placed on its rear.
    I'm not clear on this. Does the light replace the reflector? Or is the tape required IN ADDITION? And yes, that width is ridiculous. An inch of tape would wrap right around many stays.

  11. #11
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    If I understand this correctly, the rear light can replace the rear reflector.
    And you need the reflective strips in addition to the reflectors & lights.

    Looks like I'll have to learn how to ride a unicycle...

  12. #12
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    Yes, you need that massive area of red tape for your bike to be legal, light or no light.

    I think it would go around the stays on a Cervelo RS twice.

    But on re-reading it, there doesn't seem to be a dimensional requirement for the front fork tape. So the aero fork may be theoretically street-legal with a sliver of tape down the front.

  13. #13
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    Since I seem to have the most experience dealing with cops and tickets. The general impression I have is they will be more interested in.....bells and bike lights.

    Which at least in Toronto is where the wackiness begins. When I got tickets for being T Boned by a car....$120 for no bell yet for no light a whopping $30.

    But while everyone will argue endlessly about this on the Internet. Unglued can elaborate more. Reality is that how the law is enforced and tickets issued will be the individual cops discretion. But they are not the final deciding factor in this. That will occur on your day in traffic court. Which in my case not only lowered the fines to a mere $30 but the look on the officers face when I walked in. Priceless....he obviously didn't expect the cyclist to walk in. Only bettered the nasty look the judge gave him when he found out I had been hit by the car.

    As my dad once said...only an idiot doesn't take advantage of his day in court.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by aerius View Post
    When on a highway? So if I only ride on local roads and not on highways, then what?
    Maybe I should just get a unicycle...

    The legal definition of "highway" is generally all public roads.

  15. #15
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    RE: Ontario Proposes Changes to HTA for Bicycle Lights

    Quote Originally Posted by aerius View Post
    If I understand this correctly, the rear light can replace the rear reflector.
    And you need the reflective strips in addition to the reflectors & lights.

    Looks like I'll have to learn how to ride a unicycle...
    The "...instead of...." portion of the flashing rear means it can substitute both a solid red lamp and the red reflective material. They also allow you to have a flashing red in addition to. So...does that mean b/c there is no such specific provision for the front white or amber lights, a flashing/blinking white light whether instead of or in addition to, contravenes the HTA?
    Sent from my Lumia 920 using Board Express

  16. #16
    rbs
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr.Zoidberg View Post
    So...does that mean b/c there is no such specific provision for the front white or amber lights, a flashing/blinking white light whether instead of or in addition to, contravenes the HTA?
    The way I read it, is that the rear flashing light replaces all other lights/reflectors. I doubt that's what was intended, but that appears to be the way it's written. Although you could argue that the mention of 'rear' in the first part of the sentence continues to modify the second part.

    Section 17.1 overrides section 17.

    (17.1) A bicycle may carry a lamp that produces intermittent flashes of red light on its rear at any time, and may do so instead of or in addition to the lighted lamp or reflector required by subsection (17).

  17. #17
    Chicken or egg? Moderator
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    Not so sure...

    In my reading, the words "instead of" apply to the lighted lamp or rear reflector only, and does not negate the requirement for the strips of reflective material which are described as a separate item that is described as being "in addition" to the lighted lamp or rear reflector. In other words, there are up to 3 separate physical items (for the rear) being described;

    1. reflective material i.e. the strip
    2. reflector
    3. lighted lamp


    Whether the intent and expectation matches the wording is a mystery though. One thing you can be certain of is that 10 different law enforcement officers will interpret the wording in 10 different ways, which will be the fault of the complex wording.

    Quote Originally Posted by rbs View Post
    The way I read it, is that the rear flashing light replaces all other lights/reflectors. I doubt that's what was intended, but that appears to be the way it's written. Although you could argue that the mention of 'rear' in the first part of the sentence continues to modify the second part.

    Section 17.1 overrides section 17.

    (17.1) A bicycle may carry a lamp that produces intermittent flashes of red light on its rear at any time, and may do so instead of or in addition to the lighted lamp or reflector required by subsection (17).

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Circlip View Post
    Not so sure...

    In my reading, the words "instead of" apply to the lighted lamp or rear reflector only, and does not negate the requirement for the strips of reflective material which are described as a separate item that is described as being "in addition" to the lighted lamp or rear reflector. In other words, there are up to 3 separate physical items (for the rear) being described;

    1. reflective material i.e. the strip
    2. reflector
    3. lighted lamp


    Whether the intent and expectation matches the wording is a mystery though. One thing you can be certain of is that 10 different law enforcement officers will interpret the wording in 10 different ways, which will be the fault of the complex wording.
    Ah, I see your logic there. Agreed, on all accounts.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr.Zoidberg View Post
    Ah, I see your logic there. Agreed, on all accounts.
    Wait until tickets start being issued on the basis of wording that no one can reliably understand, and then each subsequent court proceeding tries to muddle through the same morass, at $30-$130 per pop. Sounds like a gong show in the making.

    The only thing that could get better is an addendum stating that is the rear of the bike has no surfaces 25mm x 250mm for the reflective material, then it is expected that a supplementary mounting surface will be affixed to the rear of the bike providing the necessary surface area. In effect, a ginormous reflector.

  20. #20
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    Why only visibility features on the bicycle?

    The legislation doesn't seem to consider the real important aspect and that is to reduce personal injuries. Some of it's requirements are obviously impractical if not impossible thus showing how ignorant the law makers are. But why is there not requirement for visibility features on the cyclist? Obviously avoiding contact with the cyclist is more important that the bike.

    Obviously there must be a letter of the law but the courts should (which they technically can't) be allowed to consider the whole picture.

    With the visibility offered by some of the LED lights that have been out there for a decade including the tiny dinky ones plus all the reflective piping and such on garments there really is no reason for a night time and day time cyclist for that matter to effectively be highly visible.

    Go to court dressed up with your cycling clothing and put the front and rear light on and turn the lights off and ask can you see this? How could you not see this if you were being slightly attentive and considerate?

    From my experience (which is largely compliant with the rules of the road and general safety considerations) Cops either write unreasonable tickets or in cases of accidents go out of their way to write up a report that blames both sides, fails to ticket either party and pushes any resolution into the tort and auto insurance sphere while ignoring their primary role of preventing accidents in the first place, even more so where their are questions of City liability.

    Question them and watch the lies and cover ups even in the face of clear cut evidence.

    I'll be the first to admit however most cyclists I know are not compliant with the rules or safety considerations and a thrid are outright wreckless which is unfortunate given their level of education and that they have families and children. Also we really don't train motorists correctly either.


    (Toronto rider)

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob stickers View Post
    Cops either write unreasonable tickets or in cases of accidents go out of their way to write up a report that blames both sides
    Not true, they tried to blame only one side in this collision.

    Coles Notes Version:

    Initially, police told her Samson was struck and killed by a van at 6:43 a.m., after riding his bicycle through a red light in the intersection of Lansdowne Ave. and Davenport Rd.

    Sapiano is calling on police and the Crown to reopen the case, now that they’re acknowledging Samson was stationary or near-stationary, waiting to turn left, as he was lawfully obliged to be, when he was rammed from behind.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruiser View Post
    Not true, they tried to blame only one side
    Doesn't it occur to anyone that this beefed up HTA is more of a tool for legal CYA than anything else? In other words, it's understood the majority of cyclists won't be fully compliant with the regs, so that in the case of an incident it's easy to blame the accident on the cyclist. Hey, the cyclist didn't have 25mm x 250mm rear reflective material, was clipped by passing car or hit from behind in the defined grey times at dusk or dawn. Therefore no fault to motorist, and the cyclist is at fault for their own injury or death. Never mind that they may have been lit up like a Christmas tree 360 degrees via other methods of visibility.

    It's like the ubiquitous mention in media incident reports about whether the cyclist involved was wearing a helmet or not, regardless of whether that was material in the outcome e.g. cyclist hit by truck, suffers massive catastrophic injuries to most of their body that a full suit of armour wouldn't have prevented which would surely have resulted in death with or without an accompanying head injury, but the media report notes they were not wearing a helmet. I'm all for helmets all the time, but c'mon can the information be relevant please?

  23. #23
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    Imagine a Canada where we the populace treated the average car driver the way we the populace treated the average firearms owner.
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  24. #24
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    Actually that article supports my post and line of thinking.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob stickers View Post
    Actually that article supports my post and line of thinking.
    Yes it does, but I needed a (awkward) segue.

    The troubling thing with that article is that it undercuts pretty much all the information that cycling safety decisions, both collectively and individually, are based on. Accidents happen, police write reports, and the information in those reports is aggregated into big sweeping bicycle studies like this one.

    Bicycles remain a lower percentage of overall traffic volume in Ontario and thus a low percentage of accidents. One or two accidents can skew the results that we rely on to make safety decisions. If accident reports are being fabricated, the whole house of cards comes down.

    And yes, if investigating officers are willing to claim that a guy waiting for a red light was riding through it, what else are they willing to say?

    They wouldn't even need to lie..

    Officers say the cyclist struck that evening was wearing a black shirt and pants (underneath his hi-viz neon jacket) and that his bike was not equipped with any reflectors (which had been removed to install three 500 lumen lights)....

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