Montreal

Montreal cracking down on drivers blocking the bike path

Montreal police are handing out fines and raising awareness about the dangers of drivers blocking the bike path with their vehicles.

May is bike month and police are handing out fines to drivers who don't stay in their lane

Cyclist Camille Pelletier-Vernooy said about 2 to 3 times per week the path she commutes on is blocked by a vehicle. (Sean Henry/CBC)

Montreal police are on a campaign to hand out fines and raise awareness about the dangers of drivers blocking the bike path with their vehicles.

Cyclist Camille Pelletier-Vernooy commutes to work along a path she sees blocked by vehicles about two or three times per week during her 20-minute commute.

"It's quite dangerous, sometimes you're coming down a hill and you don't see the car is there," she said.

Marianne Giguère, the city councillor responsible for bike safety, announced the operation on Monday — it comes in time for cycling month in Quebec.

The Highway Safety Code states that except in cases where it's necessary "no person may stop a road vehicle … in a traffic lane reserved exclusively for certain vehicles."

The infraction carries a fine of $170.

"Even if it's temporary, even if it's not for long, it really puts cyclists at risk," she said.

Blocking the bike path carries a fine of $170. This image is from Laurier Avenue. (Google)

Giguère said drivers will often disregard the law and compromise cyclists' safety.

She said the situation discourages Montrealers from riding their bike.

"It puts them in an uncomfortable situation — we block their way as if they were not legitimate road users," she said.

With files from Sean Henry and Radio Canada

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