A Saskatoon cyclist who has been using a bike rack on the back of his vehicle for about six years said he was ticketed on Saturday.
Craig de Gier told Global News the police officer who stopped him on Idylwyld Drive said the bike rack mounted on his hitch was partially obscuring his license plate.
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de Gier was fined $150 under the Traffic Safety Act Section 192(6) that states no person shall drive a vehicle on a highway if the license plate or any portion of the plate is obstructed in any manner that prevents the plate or any of the numbers or letters on the plate from being accurately photographed by a red light camera system.
“I’ve been involved with cycling for 24 years using all kinds of different racks, and I’ve never had an issue with any trunk, hitch, or roof-mounted rack.”
de Gier said he uses the bike rack seasonally and rarely in the winter. As a short term solution, de Gier said he will be limiting use of the hitch rack.
“Until I hear something that says, ‘no, we’re going to crack down on anything that covers a license plate,’ then I don’t feel it’s appropriate to be really targeting the cycling community and what’s been a common way to carry bikes on a car for the last 20, 30 years.”
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While Saskatoon police did not make a formal statement, an officer said anything that covers or hinders a license plate is illegal.
Jay Woytowich, owner of Doug’s Spoke ‘N Sport in Saskatoon, said this type of bike rack is very common.
“There are a couple companies out there that are making an accessory to go on the bike rack itself that you would have to move your plate or get another plate,” Woytowich said.
He added that while the racks are easy to get on and off, as most slide into the receiver of the hitch, they are heavy.
“Carrying it to where you’re going to store it on and off, is a bit of a chore,” Woytowich said.
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Woytowich said while he’s heard of a similar case in Alberta, he hasn’t heard of cyclists in Saskatchewan who have been ticketed for the same situation.
“It looks like something that we’re definitely going to have to look at and we’ll definitely in the store, we’re going to start telling our customers that we got to watch for that,” Woytowich said.
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