Urban Diplomat: what to do when a cyclist is breaking the law with a toddler in tow
Dear Urban Diplomat,
I was cycling behind a father with a toddler in a rear bike seat, and he was weaving in and out of traffic, and even ran a red light. I was so angry that when I caught up to him at an intersection, I lit into him. He told me to mind my own business and sped off. I obviously didn’t get through to him. What should I have done?
—Good intentions, bad temper,
He may have been criminally careless, but it doesn’t sound like he’s out to intentionally endanger his child’s life. If there’s a next time, consider giving the cyclist the benefit of the doubt. You’ll have more success if your tone is less accusing and more concerned: “I was watching you zip through traffic, and it scared me.” Your subtle intervention may not change his behaviour, but he won’t be able to dismiss you as a ranting crazy person, and you’ll have planted the seed of safety in his head for when he comes to the next red light.
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6 thoughts on “Urban Diplomat: what to do when a cyclist is breaking the law with a toddler in tow”
so, it’s all fun, till someone dies. nice
Take this guys’ picture with your cell phone and post it on a blog.
Absolutely ridiculous. I will never forget driving to work one winter morning (-20 could it be), and pulling up beside a man biking across Wellesley with a toddler in the baby seat on board the back. The child was clearly freezing cold, while the guy kept warm, pedalling away. Honestly do these people think about anyone else but themselves? There oughta be a law against that’s enforced with a hotline number. I ask you – is there something wrong with taking a bus?
I also hate to see cyclists in thick traffic with their dog on a leash … yes I have seen that unbelievable
This advice is ridiculous! It was obviously not written by a parent. Next you see this – call the police!
“Criminally careless” with a child is not acceptable.
I once saw a 4 day old newborn being taking out of those child tents then put on the back of bikes. I called Children’s Aid to see if they can do anything about that but they said no they are legal.
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