I'd like to preface this by saying I'm writing this from the perspective of a pedestrian.
TL;DR Montreal cyclists have rules and regulations to follow just like motorists do. Here's a refresher on those rules and the subsequent fines for breaking them.
So - before you all collectively jump at my throat and start ranting to me about how Montreal drivers are the worse, let me slow down for a second and tell you that I don't even own a car - and I totally agree - Montreal drivers are the worse. But let's save that for a separate rant.
It's come to my attention that some Montreal cyclists are not aware that the sidewalk is reserved for pedestrians, not bikes.
Over the past month, I've almost been run over several times by individuals biking on the sidewalks around my neighborhood.
Most of these people didn't strike me as serious year-round and all-weather cyclists, more like, casual "I bike to work when it's nice out" cyclists.
Just like motorists have rules to follow, the City of Montreal has rules and regulations that cyclists are expected to abide by as well. You know, for that public safety thing.
At the very top of The Société de l'Assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ) website in bold typeface it reads: Cyclists must "obey signs and signals and traffic lights" and that "riding on sidewalks" is "prohibited."
There you have it, Montreal. You can't bike on the sidewalks.
I'm not sure if people aren't bothering to read up on the rules before buying a bike or moving into the city, but it's very clear to the SAAQ.
That said, you can be fined 80$-$100 for any of the following offenses:
- Failing to stop at a red light
- Turning right at a red light
- Failing to yield the right of way at an intersection
- Riding with earphones that cover both ears
- Riding while holding an electronic device AKA no texting
- Failing to signal one's intention
Unlike motorists, cyclists are not expected to take a course and pass a test at the SAAQ to get a license to operate a bike.
Just because you don't need a license, doesn't mean its a free for all.
I admit the responsibility is also on the city and government to ensure that the rules and regulations are made easily accessible and clear to the public. I think they could be doing a better job at that.
Until they do, here are all the SAAQ laws for cyclists in Quebec.