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Cyclist mistakenly gets three demerit points for running red light

Last Updated Feb 23, 2017 at 5:43 pm EDT

A Toronto teen who admitted to running a red light while on his bicycle not only had to pay a fine — but he also now has a mark on his driving record.

Three demerit points appeared on Isaac’s driver’s licence after he paid the $350 fine for the ticket, something that’s not supposed to happen.

“Isaac was admittedly at fault for the ticket,” his mother Vicky Tsorlinis said. “He chose to pay for the fine. It was a done deal he thought.

“And then in the middle of January, we got a piece of paper from the Ministry of Transportation saying he has three demerit points [on] his driver’s licence, which came to us as a shock.”

Tsorlinis — speaking on behalf of her son, who didn’t want to be interviewed or have his last name used — said trying to get the points withdrawn has been an ongoing nightmare.

She said the family has reached out to Court Services and the Ministry of Transportation and has made a public appeal on Facebook.

Const. Clint Stibbe with Traffic Services said a miscommunication or clerical error was to blame for the demerit points, but it wasn’t the fault of Toronto police.

He said a checkbox on Isaac’s traffic ticket indicating whether a motor vehicle was involved was not marked.

“We’ve … looked into whether that ticket was written properly by the officer,” Stibbe said. “All indications are that it was.

“As a result, any issues with how that ticket was transcribed to the Ministration of Transportation and to the courts, there may have been some issues there.”

He said if no motor vehicle is involved, demerit points should not be affected. However, most traffic rules apply to cyclists in the same way they do to drivers — and cyclists can be fined.

Still, cyclists can’t be charged for speeding or impaired driving under the Highway Traffic Act, which only applies to motorized vehicles. They can however be charged with public intoxication in the Ontario courts.