Hogarth wants helmet law enforced

Councillor concerned about cyclist safety, also wants sidewalk law reviewed

Coun. Al Hogarth wants more cyclists to wear helmets

Maple Ridge council wants more information before it asks RCMP to clamp down on bicycle bandits who pedal their trade under the cover of darkness.

A resolution Tuesday from Coun. Al Hogarth called on council to ask police to enforce the Motor Vehicle Act against bicyclists who zoom about in the dark without helmets or lights.

“They’re prolific, no matter how much education you to do, some of these people will never learn.

“Motorcyclists have to wear helmets, that is the law. Cyclists have to wear helmets, that is the law.”

Hogarth said one reason he’s asking for a clampdown is to help motorists who could accidentally hit a cyclist dressed in black, at night. Hogarth said that’s almost happened several times to him.

“To me, it’s about that innocent driver. I guess if there are some unintended consequences, so be it.

“I see them late at night, wandering around with their cellphones.

“I don’t know how they can afford a cellphone when they can’t afford a helmet or a light for their bike. Maybe they don’t want to be seen. That’s the whole reason, they wear the dark clothing and fleet away on bicycles because it’s a great escape.”

Asking RCMP to do such blanket enforcement could see families ticketed, said Coun. Cheryl Ashlie.

And the RCMP are already enforcing the Motor Vehicle Act, said Coun. Judy Dueck.

“We shouldn’t have to request that the RCMP enforce the MVA because that’s already their responsibility.

“We shouldn’t be instructing them [RCMP] how to police. We have to entrust them to do their jobs.”

Council, though, supported Coun. Corisa’s Bell idea of referring it to the social planning advisory committee, which includes RCMP representation.

Police then would report back to council.

Hogarth also wanted to tack on another motion, asking for a review of the bylaw that allows cyclists on Maple Ridge sidewalks.

But that was voted down by council because it was not requested in advance.

“We said this to the other councillor so we have to be consistent,” Dueck said.

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