Cycling has been a largely unregulated activity in Toronto since the 1950s, when licences were done away with by mayor Nathan Phillips. Cyclists may have to follow the rules of the road, but motorists they are not. Cycling is a great way of keeping fit, beating the rush hour commute and is an easy way to get around the city.
A cyclist may not require a ‘riding licence’ or have to pass the M1, M2 and M tests in Ontario, but cycling-under-the-influence is a different matter. A cyclist must know and obey the rules of the road like any car or motorcycle driver.
Riding a bike while high
Now that the recreational use of cannabis is permitted across Canada, the question of cannabis-impaired cycling – riding a bike while high – is going to come to the fore. At present, the best corollary to cycling after having consumed marijuana is how the police treat alcohol-impaired cycling.
Cycling after having consumed alcohol is not an offence per se. However, police will stop cyclists they think are visibly intoxicated. Cues that the police rely on can be: the conduct of the rider and whether bicycle was being driven safely. On this basis, the police conduct a sobriety test. Subsequently, a fine can be issued for not obeying traffic rules. Riding a bike while high bears some resemblance to this scenario.
The effects of cannabis
Exactly what effects cannabis has and how these are to be ‘quantified’ is a subject that is undergoing rapid change. So much so, even police forces around Canada are not ad idem about what is the best test for cannabis-impairment to use on people riding a bike while high. While some tests raise questions about the right to privacy, others can falsely detect the presence of cannabis, even if it was consumed days ago.
Particularly in a car accident involving another vehicle or as a result of potholes or obstructions in the road, the amount of THC (a chemical compound in cannabis) per millilitre of blood will be a factor and can affect the outcome of an injured person’s claim.
At Neinstein we are a team of committed bicycle accident lawyers who bring passionate advocacy to cycling claims. For our lawyers, your well-being is the first priority. We are there for our clients every step of the way. Our lawyers have helped many cyclists get the bicycle accident compensation they deserve, for accidents and injuries resulting from collisions, dooring and poor infrastructure.
Image credit to Loozrboy. Flickr
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