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VPD Cycling Smackdown

by Bryn — last modified May 29, 2009 12:45 PM
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June is Bike Month - as is historical in Vancouver, June is also "Cops crack down on cyclists month"

"Police say cyclists are vulnerable and need someone looking out for them.  This campaign, in conjunction with June's Bike Safety Month, is looking out for those who need to be saved from themselves."

Not just content with helmet ambushes, the VPD have decided to start handing out tickets and warnings for all manner of cycling "infractions" they might happen to see.  Keep your eyes peeled out there or you might just be in for a surprise!!  As usual it seems they're setting themselves up in the Downtown East Side on the Union bike route, but I'd expect to see similar displays of force out there around Kits Beach and a few other key areas.

This kind of thing really cheeses me off.  Every year we try and encourage people to get out on their bikes, and then at the same time we ramp up enforcement.  Someone who might finally get out there and ride ends up getting nabbed and ticketed - how does this help encourage cycling?  We need look no further than Europe to see how well cyclists and cars can integrate - look at almost any major European city these days and you'll see a stark contrast to how cyclists are treated here.

We don't need to be saved from ourselves, thanks.  We're perfectly capable of making those decisions.

Let Vancouver City Council know what you think about this: [email protected]

What do you think about "Cyclist Smackdown Month"?  Let us know in the comments below!

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VPD Cyclist Smackdown

Avatar Posted by Bryn at May 29, 2009 12:56 PM
My letter to Vancouver City Council:

I see in the news that yet again this year the Vancouver Police Department has decided to treat June as "Cyclist Smackdown Month", only this year they've decided that merely ambushing cyclists to hand out "no-helmet" tickets isn't enough.

This kind of thing needs to stop. Vancouver should be doing everything possible to encourage people to get out on their bikes. The idea of police officers hiding out, ticket books in hand will not help encourage cyclists one bit, in fact quite the opposite.

I understand that rules need to be followed, but why are we focusing on attacking cyclists? Why are there no police officers out there ticketing motorists who violate the laws around cycling? Why do we not see officers on key bike routes ticketing cars who pass cyclists in an unsafe manner, who travel along designated bike corridors at high speed and who use their vehicles as weapons to intimidate cyclists?

I voted for most of you in the past election, in no small part due to many of you identifying yourselves as being pro-bike. Now is the time to stand up and show the cycling community of Vancouver that those votes meant something.


Avatar Posted by Teddy at May 29, 2009 03:09 PM
I think I'll stick to walking to work for this month.

They need to ask themselves, "Am I doing a good job to get people out of their cars?"

I say no.