My father purchased an electric power-assisted bicycle earlier this year, and today I was ticketed "Fail to wear proper helmet on power-assisted bicycle". The whole family has been using it for months now without helmets, because the dealer who sold it said that it was legally a bicycle, and if you are over 18 you do not need a helmet to ride it. Obviously, this is mis-information, and I have now found out that there is no age restriction for wearing a helmet on a power-assisted bicycle. Is there any way that I can contest the charges on this, or am I pretty much stuck?
Also, I'm on Ontario Works assistance while in school, and the charge of $110 is far too high for me to pay. I get $250 a month for expenses, so to pay this it's coming down to either eating, or paying the fine.
I found it a bit strange that while she sat there for 45 minutes trying to find something to fine me for, at least two dozen children (There was a Christmas Parade going on downtown that day) rode by on their bicycles without helmets, and she didn't even give them a second look.
1) Ignorance of the law is not a defence.
2) Although your criticism of the police is appreciated, *edited by moderator*, you can't expect the officer to stop every single person who is breaking the law when she's already dealing with you. Question: when you go fishing, do you catch every fish in the lake?
No, I do not work for Toronto Police...
... it is just a name folks
As stated above, the fact that you weren't aware of the law isn't a defence, even if a dealer misinformed you.
To get a reduced fine, there are two options. First, you could speak with the Crown,and see if they'll offer you a plea deal. Basically in exchange for pleading guilty, they'll recommend a reduced fine. You could also plead guilty with an explanation to the Justice of the Peace and explain your financial situation. The JP may either reduce the fine and/or offer you an extended period of time to pay it off.
Harsh guys, I only asked about the ignorance plea, as the officer herself told me I could contest it as I believed I was following the law.
My critique of the officer came from her yelling at me, and telling me to shut up multiple times while I was replying to her questions (She was angry that I had no license, and was trying to ticket me for that, until she looked and saw no license was required). She did not calm down until about 45 minutes in, while we both looked for stickers on the bike (I tried to help the best I could). She got angry, took it out on me, and then later calmed down. She stopped me while I was walking it down a side street.
I do agree my first post kind of came of rude, as I posted it not long after I had gotten home after the incident. This is my first time in any trouble with the law, as I've spent the last almost decade in the hospital (The reason I'm on social assistance, and borrowing the power-assisted bicycle when needing transportation).
You did answer the main question I had about paying over a longer period of time, though. If I go into the office listed on the ticket, will they tell me how to do so?
My response wasn't meant to be harsh.
If you simply want more time to pay, your best option would be to select option 2, plead guilty with an explanation. Upon entering your guilty plea, the JP should give you the opportunity to speak to the sentence. That would be your chance to advise the Court of your financial situation. The JP doesn't actually have to reduce your fine, but it's pretty much guaranteed on a minor offence.
I meant more so for tdottopcop, which was a rude reply about my financial and life situation, accidently pluralized it.
Thank you very much Stanton, that really helps a lot. That's the kind of thing I wanted to know, as I have no experience at all in this kind of matter.
I have been stopped a few times walking motorcycles down the street with out gear and the police didn't care as long as I wasn't riding,their only concern was that didn't get run down.How can you get a ticket for no gear while not riding?It doesn't show intent,don't you have to be on it?
The law says:
(2) No person shall ride on, drive or operate a power-assisted bicycle on a highway unless the person is wearing a helmet as required by subsection 104 (1) or (2.1). 2009, c. 5, s. 35.
So the question then becomes does walking an e-bike down the street constitute operating a power-assisted bicycle. I don't know the answer to that question, but I could see a court going either on that one. Does anyone out there know of any case law that might shed light on that question?
tdottopcop wrote:1) Ignorance of the law is not a defence.
2) Although your criticism of the police is appreciated, *edited by moderator*, , you can't expect the officer to stop every single person who is breaking the law when she's already dealing with you. Question: when you go fishing, do you catch every fish in the lake?
*edited by moderator*. OP clearly states that the Ebike was purchased by their father and is borrowed for transport. Also states that OP is on assistance while going to school. OP also states what mis-information they had been told and was asking advice, not for you to come and put them down.
I agree ignorance of the law is no excuse. You were misinformed. You have to be 16+ and everyone must wear either a bicycle helmet or motorcycle helmet while operating a power-assisted bicycle. As you were walking the bicycle the statute does not apply. Some people might be confusing this with care and control which if you were impaired you could be charged, but that is not this statute, clearly you have to be riding ["ride on, drive or operate"] the ebike in this statute. When walking a bicycle you are a pedestrian, according to MTO publication with reference to section 179http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/pubs/c ... n5.0.shtml
HTA 179 - Dismounted bicyclist
Cyclists are required to ride on the right-hand side of the road. If you are walking your bike on a highway where there are no sidewalks, you are considered a pedestrian and you should walk on the left-hand side of the road facing traffic. If it is not safe for you to cross the road to face traffic, you may walk your bike on the right-hand side of the road. Set fine: $35.00.
I agree that ignoring helmetless children is annoying, it seems to happen around here, half of them do not wear helmets. I believe that would fall under the Charter of equality under the law. Clearly citizens should be charged equally for breaking the same laws. Of course this is my opinion only, not sure that such a thing has ever been tested .
What you're suggesting, "charging people equally", is antithetical to the notion of discretion in the application of the law. Remember, the Charter doesn't entitle you to equal treatment, it only entitles you to freedom from DISCRIMINATORY treatment.
NOTHING I SAY ON HERE IS LEGAL ADVICE.
The Youth Criminal Justice Act (while geared for criminal offences) would also disagree with the notion that youth be charged "equally". Police/Crowns are to find diversions when appropriate verus proceeding through the Courts with charges. The law feels youth are less accountable for their actions and warnings are more warranted.
I am not that familiar with Charter law, but a lot of the ruling seem to be quite liberal in their interpretations. However this is a side issue to the original helmet charge, and largely irrelevent. He was a pedestrian walking his bike at the time of the ticket, he was not observed riding with no helmet.
I do not know at what age children can be charged with failure to wear a helmet, but their parents can be charged with section 104 (2.2) allowing them to ride with no helmet, therefor laws were being broken in the presence of the officer as she was searching for a charge. The question also should be asked did the officer have just cause to stop the pedestrian walking a bicycle if he was not breaking the law at the time? Was the charge to justify the stop? The police officer was clearly picking on the ebiker. Passing a law that says children under 18 should be charged with wearing no helmet and then saying they should not be charged because they are under 18 is illogical.
orillia3 wrote:I am not that familiar with Charter law, but a lot of the ruling seem to be quite liberal in their interpretations. However this is a side issue to the original helmet charge, and largely irrelevent. He was a pedestrian walking his bike at the time of the ticket, he was not observed riding with no helmet..
There is more to this that the OP is telling us. If truly in fact they were walking the bike, that would have been within the first few lines of the original post and is not in the 1st post at all
Now the issue of kids riding by while the OP was stopped and them not getting stopped. There might be other offences going on, but have to remain focused on the person(s) you are dealing with at the time.
Annoying as the conduct of the officer was, if he was ticketed with not wearing a helmet, if memory serves me correctly, it is only an $85 plus costs fine, topping out at somewhere around $105, while not chicken feed, might be chalked up to being an expensive lesson. There are no implications about it affecting his dirver's license, or I am assuming would not affect automobile insurance or garner any points. Sometimes we are just guilty of an offense and have to pay the piper. I fixate on the walking of the bike because if that is true, then he is a pedestrian and does not need a helmet. If he was observed riding with no helmet by the police officer, he has no defence and must pay the fine.
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