Warm weather means more bikes on the road. That’s great in one respect but it also means cyclists must think twice when they hit the pavement and remember that they are on a vehicle and therefore must obey the rules of the road, says Revelstoke RCMP Cpl. Rod Wiebe.
“In British Columbia a bicycle on the road is considered a vehicle and as such must obey all the same laws (as a motor vehicle),” he said in a statement released on Tuesday.
“One such law is riding a bicycle on a sidewalk. Sec. 183(2) of the Motor Vehicle Act prohibits the riding of a bike on a sidewalk. The corresponding fine for this offence is $109. Continued infractions could also see the seizure of the bike by police. This law is in place to protect the pedestrians on the sidewalk, especially the ones exiting a store who are unaware of the approaching bike.”
Wiebe said a “little pre-planning to avoid some of the busier roads should alleviate the urge to ride on the sidewalk,” cyclists need to be aware that the wearing of a helmet is mandatory.
“If a child is riding a bike without a helmet the parent or guardian could be fined,” he said. “There are numerous other rules we would also like to point out such as riding at night requires a light. Not doing so carries a fine of $109. Don’t think the stop sign applies when you are riding a bike? That can cost you $167 and add three demerit points to your driver’s licence, if you have one. If not ICBC will gladly create a number for you that will need to be taken care of before you get a licence or try to insure a vehicle.”
Wiebe said that starting the week of May 10 to May 14 police will be out conducting a bike awareness program. This will consist of stopping cyclists who are breaking the law and pointing out the infraction to them. The cyclist will be handed a card which lists the common offences as well as some safety tips.
On May 15 police officers from the Revelstoke Detachment will be putting on a bike rodeo on Mackenzie Avenue for kids to come out to practice their riding skills, obtain some safety tips and learn the rules of the road. More will be released on the bike rodeo as the date approaches.
“It is then, after the bike rodeo, that police will be actively enforcing the bicycle laws,” Wiebe said. “Officers in cars, on foot and on bikes will all be a part of this initiative. This should not come as a surprise to anyone in Revelstoke. We have been warning cyclists that this program was coming and the laws have been there for a very long time. Further many citizens have requested it.”
If anyone has any questions about the bike laws they can visit the detachment and speak with any officer, he said.