Cyclists Get Lit, Stay Safe

By Sara Faruqi, Toronto Police Service Published: 6 a.m. October 15, 2015
Updated: 10:16 a.m. October 15, 2015

The Toronto Police Service has partnered with Cycle Toronto to educate and keep cyclists safe on the road.

A woman with a bike holding a light up.
Cyclist Sara Miller got lights for her bicycle from Cycle Toronto. Fines have increased from $20 to $110 for not having a bike light.

As the weather changes and it gets dark earlier, volunteers and staff of Cycle Toronto are setting up booths near busy cycling routes to hand out free lights and educate cyclists on the fine for not having a light on. 

The fine has gone up from $20 to $110 this year, which many cyclists are not aware of, said Joan Milway, of Cycle Toronto, who was out at Boulton Drive Parkette handing out lights. 

“It’s getting darker earlier and people tend to forget to bring their lights with them because they’re not used to having to bike home in the dark,” said Milway. “You should plan to have a light at all times, because if it’s rainy, or dark or foggy you should have a light on.”

Cyclists need to have their lights on from 30 minutes before sunset to 30 minutes after sunrise. 

Last week, when Milway was out handing out free lights, donated by Urbane Cyclists Worker’s Co-op and Sweet Pete’s Bike Shop, she noticed that almost fifty per cent of cyclists were not lit properly. They ended up handing out almost 200 lights that evening. The McLeish Orlando law firm are also sponsoring the events.

A man in an organe T-shirt is putting a light on a man's bike who is standing on his bike.
Cycle Toronto volunteer Burns Watti puts on a front light on a cyclist who stopped by for a light

Sara Miller was on her way home, when she stopped by the Cycle Toronto Booth and was happy to get lights for her bicycle. 

“You feel unsafe without a light as a biker on the road,” said Miller, as she attached a front and rear light to her bike. Miller says she has had her bike lights stolen three times, and it is frustrating to head to a faraway equipment store to get a good light. She prefers the detachable ones like the ones that were being handed out, so you can take them with you when you get off your bike. 

“Improving road safety and traffic flow is one of our goals in support of and commitment to safe communities and neighbourhoods,” said Superintendent Gord Jones of Traffic Services. “Traffic safety is the responsibility of everyone who uses our roadways.” 

Other than front lights, Ontarians must also have a rear red reflector or rear red light. 

Cycle Toronto will be out for the next two Tuesdays, from 6 to 9 p.m.: next week on Oct. 20 at the College/Shaw Library and Oct. 27 at the Castle Frank Subway Station.

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