A pair of constables are handing out lights, not tickets, over the next few weeks to encourage cyclists to be visible to help avoid collisions.
Constables Ken Perino and Andrea Yepes came up with the Light It Up initiative after their unit commander, Neil Corrigan, challenged officers to come up with ideas to reduce traffic collisions in the Division that sees heavy pedestrian, bike and car traffic in neighbourhoods spanning Liberty Village, Little Italy and Parkdale.
“We have seen a lot of cyclists riding around without lights at night in our Division,” said Perino. “So what me and my partner did was buy lights and distribute them to offenders in lieu of issuing traffic tickets. This, we found, would not only allow officers to positively engage with members of the cycling public, but also promote riding safety. The end goal is to have a much safer and enjoyable cycling experience.”
Cyclists face a $110 fine for improper lighting under the Highway Traffic Act. They are required to have a forward-facing white light and rear-facing red light during the night and 30 minutes from dawn and dusk.
All of the cyclists stopped so far have been appreciative, except one who was arrested because he had an outstanding warrant.
The initiative started on December 2 and ends on December 15.
The 14 Division Community Policing Liaison Committee provided a donation for the purchase of 60 sets of front and rear lights. Officers have given out 20 so far.