A police officer in Toronto who had been dishing out fines to cyclists later crashed his SUV into one in a bike lane – and then claimed he had not seen the rider because the sun was in his eyes.
The incident happened last Tuesday 2 August in the High Park district of the Ontario city at the junction of Lodge Drive and Centre Drive, reports the Daily Hive.
Fortunately, the cyclist was not injured in the incident, although the website says that his bike was damaged as a result of the collision.
Lawyer David Shellnutt, who is acting on behalf of the cyclist, said that his client had “noticed the police SUV targeting cyclists.”
He told Daily Hive: “On his way home, he was aware of that and so came to a stop just ahead of the police officer and purposely stopped fully on his bike,
“He had the right of way and, as he proceeded, the police officer turned right in front of him and hit him.”
The police officer reportedly told the cyclist that he had not seen him due to the sun, but Shellnutt was unimpressed by that excuse.
“Obviously, just because the sun was in your eyes doesn’t mean you can disobey highway traffic then,” he pointed out.
Toronto Police confirmed that the crash had happened, saying: “There were no injuries reported. Traffic Services is continuing their investigation.”
According to Daily Hive, police have been targeting cyclists in the area, issuing fines for transgressions such as going through stop signs, or exceeding the 20kph speed limit that applies there.
The website also reports that last week, a cyclist claimed that an off-duty police officer had knocked her off her bike in the same area.
Twittter user @TorontoCaroline wrote: “Just got knocked off my bike by this very entitled man in the middle of the intersection of High Park Avenue and Bloor Street.
“I’m really tired of being harassed as a cyclist in Toronto,” she added.
Just got knocked of my bike by this very entitled man in the middle of the intersection of High Park Ave and Bloor St. I’m really tired of being harassed as a cyclist in Toronto. Waiting for the cops. pic.twitter.com/tBUYeiVLsh
— Toronto Caroline (@TorontoCaroline) August 1, 2022
Shellnutt said that the man involved was a police officer who was off-duty, and while Toronto Police confirmed that the incident had been reported, no further action would be taken.
They said: “The incident was investigated, there were no injuries reported and no charges laid. We do not confirm the identities of people who have not been criminally charged.”
Shellnutt has written to Toronto Mayor John Tory to “publicly denounce this kind of behaviour,” asking “that police refrain from harassing cyclists in High Park and instead dispatch City Staff and Cycle Toronto to assist in volunteer outreach and safety awareness in the park,”
He has not yet received a reply, according to the Daily Hive.
Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.