Tofino police eyeing unlit cyclists

Tofino police want bicyclists to understand the importance of seeing the light.

Police have their eyes peeled for cyclists riding without lights at night, according to Sgt. Blaine Mumford who said his detachment has been receiving complaints from motorists regarding too-hard-to-see cyclists.

“We have received some complaints of cyclists in, and around, town without lights on their bikes riding at night,” Mumford said.

“Obviously that’s a safety concern, mostly for the cyclists…It’s a piece of safety equipment that might keep them safe from harm.”

He said cyclists must have lights on their bicycles so that they can be seen once the sun has gone down. 

“I can speak from personal experience, seeing bicycles without lights on, it’s very difficult to notice them sometimes,” Mumford said.

“It’s on our radar now because we’ve received some complaints about it so we’ll be talking with people who we do see riding without a light.”

He added police would also be speaking to cyclists who are not wearing helmets and those who are pedaling past stop signs without stopping.

“Ultimately there could be enforcement action taken,” Mumford said.

According to BC’s Motor Vehicle Act, a cyclist must have a light on the front of their bicycle that can be seen from at least 150 metres away, as well as a red reflector on the rear of their bike. 

Lights must be on from sunset to sunrise and any cyclists caught unlit may have their bicycle seized and be subject to fines.

The Act also stipulates that any cyclist who fails to stop at a stop sign is subject to a $167 fine; not wearing a helmet can bring a $100 fine.

The Tofino RCMP detachment used to dish out free bike lights and helmets through the Tofino Bicycle Initiative, which was launched in 2013 by Tofino’s then ‘Bike Cop’ Cpl. Andrew Waddell.

Under Waddell’s leadership, the Initiative installed about 160 sets of lights on local cyclist’s rides but these efforts seemingly screeched to a halt when Waddell was transferred to Comox last year.

Mumford said the RCMP have no current plans to revamp the Initiative but he suggested the detachment could assist with a re-launch of the program if a community member volunteered to spearhead the work.

 â€œIt was certainly an initiative that Andrew (Waddell) felt passionate about it and so worked on, but if there was someone who wanted to help the RCMP be involved in something like that we could certainly talk,” Mumford said.

Anyone interested in getting the conversation going can contact the detachment at 250-725-3242.

 

andrew.bailey@westerlynews.ca