Letter to TPS & Mayor Tory re: Safe Cycling & the Idaho Stop
September 12, 2022
Chief Ramer Mayor Tory
Toronto Police Service Board Office of the Mayor
40 College St. 100 Queen St. W.
Toronto, ON M5G 2J3 Toronto, ON M5H 2N2
RE: TPS Highway Traffic Act Infractions & Enforcement
Dear Chief Ramer & Mayor Tory,
As lawyers for seriously injured cyclists we encourage hyper vigilance and proactivity when it comes to the protection of Vulnerable Road Users. We seek out and support changes to the law that make our streets safer. We always want the safety of cyclists to be top of mind for anyone who has the power to protect people on bikes.
With the 3rd video in a week surfacing of Toronto Police Service bicycle officers riding contrary to the Highway Traffic Act (see below), committing multiple infractions, we kindly request the following:
Withdraw all tickets issued against cyclists in High Park and on Shaw Street in August 2022 for the HTA offence of Failure to Stop (where no injury or collision resulted from the infraction).
TPS and the City of Toronto review the merits of the Idaho Stop/safe cycling yield.
Prepare a report, present findings and recommendations on incorporating provision for the Idaho Stop into the Highway Traffic Act or municipal by-laws. (The focus of reporting should center on efficiency and safety.)
Divert funding used to conduct cyclist related TPS enforcement blitzes to Cycle Toronto for the creation and dissemination of safe cycling videos, including but not limited to how people on bikes can and should safely perform a safe yield or Idaho Stop.
Use TPS’ popular Traffic Services social media accounts to promote these safe cycling videos to all road users in a public education campaign.
Given the events of late summer in Toronto, some antagonistic and some quite successful and commendable, it is apparent that TPS' targeting of cyclists for HTA enforcement and then officers themselves engaging in the targeted behaviour has and will continue to create significant distrust of the Service and its members.
We are keen to work towards collaboration, unity, and a shared understanding of the vulnerability of road users who walk, run, and roll, not further division.
Lawyer & Advocate
Encls. Videos: Officers Fail to Stop 1, Officers Fail to Yield and Sidewalk Riding, Officers Fail to Stop 2