Kiwi Polemicist

May 21, 2009

• Woman fined for not holding handrail

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Bela Kosoian was riding an escalator in the Montreal subway and didn’t obey the small sign that told her to hold the hand rail. A police officer told her to comply, she refused, there was an argument, and the officer handcuffed her and put her in a cell . Her bag was searched and she was fined C$100 (NZ$139) for failing to hold the banister plus C$320 (NZ$434) for obstruction (source).

The subway (Société de transport de Montréal) regulations say

it is forbidden for all persons to disobey a directive or a pictogram posted by the Société

There’s two issues here:

1) the subway czars can put up any sign they like and disobeying it will be a crime. I’ll make sure that I salute the armed sentry upon entering and leaving subway stations next time I’m in Montreal.

2) Kosoian was punished for not complying with a safety regulation. “We know what is best for you, so you will hold the handrail”.

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