Cyclists zooming on Calgary’s many bike paths will have to pay more attention to their speeds if they want to avoid a hefty ticket.
According to a change in a City of Calgary bylaw, the fine for pedalling 10 to 15 kilometres over the posted speed limit — typically 20 km/h — could net a cyclist a fine of up to $400 — that’s up significantly from the previous $50 ding.
Those caught going up to 10 km/h over the posted pathway limit could be fined $100 to $150.
The bylaw was changed earlier this year, but with more and more cyclists hitting the paths, patrols will also be ramping up.
According to one city councillor, the new fine is too steep for the penalty.
“I was shocked to learn about that. I’m looking into that,” Ward 9 Coun. Gian Carlo-Carra said on Tuesday, June 4.
“That seems a bit aggressive. I am definitely of the opinion that we should probably weight the fines to reflect the actual damage that can be inflicted on property and life.”
Carra said a driver in a vehicle would have to be driving close to 30 kilometres over the speed limit on a highway to receive a similar fine.
“If you mess up at 160 km/h on the highway, it’s way worse than 15 km/h, bumping into another human being,” he said.
“Any bicycle on human, human on human, car on human, car on bicycle — these are terrible things when they happen but there’s definitely a sliding scale of terrible and it has to do with the mass and velocity of what’s striking what and I think our fee system should probably reflect that.”
The city said in an emailed statement to Global News that bylaw enforcement officers will take an education-first approach if they stop speeding cyclists and also have items to give out to any pathway users they speak to.
“Ticketing is always the last resort, with compliance through education being the primary goal,” the city said.