Toronto cyclist speaks out after being issued $110 ticket for rolling stop sign in High Park

By Lucas Casaletto

Toronto cyclists continue to speak out over what many call unfair treatment from local police. One man, in particular, says he was ticketed over $100 for allegedly rolling at a stop sign.

Jeffrey Doucet took to social media with a picture of him in biking gear alongside a Toronto police cruiser. A constable is visible inside the vehicle and appears to be writing Doucet a ticket, which he confirmed.

“Got a nice $110 ticket for rolling a stop sign in High Park from the Toronto police, which I look forward to fighting,” Doucet said. “Glad to see [Mayor John Tory] and [Toronto police] continue to prioritize the most important public safety issues in Toronto.”

Doucet tagged David Shellnutt, “The Biking Lawyer,” on Twitter — an outspoken critic of local law enforcement regarding officers targeting cyclists. Shellnutt says he’s discouraged that Toronto police are targeting people trying to get through the park safely.

“We all want people to obey the rules of the road,” says Shellnutt, speaking to CityNews on Wednesday. “But if we have finite resources in this city, we ought to be targeting where there are serious issues.”

“This area is a place where we should devote community resources to encourage safe cycling, and safety in the park by everyone. We should not be sending armed men in SUVs down to hand out tickets to people.”


A pair of cyclists ride their bikes on a local road. Photo: Juan Castillo.

On Tuesday, Shellnutt shared a photo on Twitter alleging a Toronto officer assaulted a community member and harassed cyclists in High Park.

In a letter directed at Tory, Shellnutt addressed an allegation from one cyclist who says they were assaulted in the park.

At 7:50 PM Friday night, a [Black, Indigenous, and people of colour] BIPOC cyclist was targeted by undercover and uniformed officers while trying to cycle safely in the park,” Shellnutt wrote.

“You have given credence to the statistically inaccurate impression that cyclists cause harm comparable to motorists. You have authorized a war on cyclists.”

Shellnutt mentioned a separate incident on Saturday when he says a woman on a bike was attacked and chased down by a man near High Park.

His justification [was] that he was fed up with cyclists and decided to teach her a lesson,” Shellnutt wrote. “The woman called police to the scene, but they failed to act.”

Tory defends police actions in High Park

Last week, Tory commented on the recent uproar of the city using police officers to ticket local cyclists. The mayor said people riding bikes are not the only ones enjoying High Park, noting that pedestrians must be kept safe.

“I just think the police are doing their job, and they do not deserve to be criticized for it,” Tory said.

“If somebody was to get struck by one of those cyclists travelling at high speed and badly injured, then what discussion would we be having about that?”

Tory maintained that local enforcement “have to establish a safe balance between all those different activities,” noting that cyclists, specifically, aren’t going to get special treatment from officers.

Shellnutt says he was shocked at how out of touch the mayor sounded in his comments.

“Anybody who bikes, drives, or walks in the City of Toronto knows there are issues around dangerous driving and unsafe streets, but that is not in the park,” he says. “We have an epidemic of car collisions causing physical harm, yet we don’t address dangerous driving.”

The City of Toronto says a survey is asking residents about their priorities and preferences for the existing route through High Park, including roads, driveways, parking lots and paved trails.

With files from Meredith Bond and Mark McAllister of CityNews

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