Vancouver cyclists sitting on 11,000 unpaid helmet tickets
The vast majority of Vancouver cyclists ticketed for not wearing a helmet over the past five years still haven't coughed up the fine, according to a new ICBC report.
The insurance company's statistics reveal that 11,097 of the 13,154 tickets issued for helmet violations from 2008 to 2012 have so far gone unpaid.
The fine for riding without a helmet is $29, meaning the total value of outstanding tickets amounts to roughly $321,000.
Spokesman Adam Grossman said the law was intended to improve safety, and he hopes cyclists take it seriously.
“Our research shows that 85 per cent of serious injuries can be prevented by just wearing a bicycle helmet. The reality is that when a vehicle and a bicycle are in collision, the cyclist is going to come off a lot worse,” Grossman said.
ICBC is tasked with collecting fines, and has put practices in place to encourage payment. Those with outstanding tickets are unable to renew their driver's licence or insurance, and files are kept on underage or unlicenced cyclists in case they try to obtain a licence in the future.
According to the report, 1,771 of the helmet fines issued from 2008 to 2012 have been paid, while 53 were withdrawn and 75 were successfully disputed. Another 95 remain in the dispute process.
The statistics also show that the number of tickets issued nearly halved in recent years, going from 3,460 in 2008 to 1,823 in 2012.
The reason for the drop is unclear, but Grossman said police, who are in charge of ticketing, are doing a good job enforcing the law.
With a report from CTV British Columbia’s St. John Alexander