Can I get demerits for cycling infractions?

Cyclists passing by a stop sign in Ottawa, Ont. on September 16, 2008. iStock photo by Getty Images

It’s the rare cyclist who doesn’t at least bend the rules of the road.

Rolling through a stop sign, riding on the sidewalk, riding helmet-less … they’re all common infractions.

It’s also rare to get a ticket for those violations but on those occasions, cyclists sometimes hear they could also get demerit points on their driver’s licence.

Demerit points are part of the penalty for certain traffic infractions like excessive speed, running red lights or distracted driving. If you accumulate too many points too fast, you can lose your licence.

 

Can your bike infraction affect your licence?

 

Generally, no. Cyclists are subject to tickets and fines, but not points.

The one exception is in Quebec, where cyclists can rack up points, even if they don’t have a driver’s licence.

Elsewhere, ticketed cyclists sometimes find their infraction counted against their driving record, but it’s often due to an omission on the ticket; a ticketing officer may not specify the vehicle type, so authorities automatically assume it’s a car. If you can clarify that you were cycling, the points won’t count against you.

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