Holding the handrail on the escalators of Montreal's subway stations is NOT optional!

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Holding the handrail on the escalators of Montreal's subway stations is NOT optional!

Anyone who has ridden an escalator and bothered to pay attention has seen - and likely ignored - little signs suggesting riders hold the grimy handrail.

In Montreal's subway system, the friendly advice seems to have taken on the force of law, backed by a $100 fine.

Bela Kosoian, a 38-year-old mother of two, says when she didn't hold the handrail Wednesday she was cuffed, dragged into a small holding cell and fined.



So it is probably a good idea to use the handrail, but really!


No kidding.

It seems to me it may have had more to do with the audacity she had to suggest that she didn't have three hands, after all aren't we all trained to know that police expect obedience and if we aren't immediately so then we can expect to be handcuffed and charged.  I mean really what kind of society would it be if people actually acted as if cops were people they could relate to, tsk, tsk, that would never do.

I have met fine police officers and am grateful that someone wants to take on that role but that doesn't justify the many that come out blasting when a handshake would do. 


I was curious what the Montreal newspapers would say about this (online). In La Presse, as of 9:30 am, it's the lead story in the Actualités section. But (as of 9:30 am) I couldn't find any article about it in either The Gazette, Le Devoir, or Le Journal de Montreal. I wonder if they'll pick the story up.


To the police, the public is the enemy. An enemy that has to be controlled. Because they don't do the job they are hired to do, namely protect society from criminals, the police must rule by fear to maintain order. Hence, any response to police that is less than obsequious is met with humiliation and threats of force.

Humiliating this woman by putting the cuffs on her and citing her with expensive tickets (forcing her to fight them in court and renew the humiliation - even though the police know she can beat them) are proven methods to enforce subjugation through fear.

Another tactic is after forcing the gauntlet of nasty cop tricks like cuffing, ticketing and humiliating her, the police officers refuse to show up in court to let her know she is not worth it.

All in all, she is lucky they didn't taser her five times in error because their taser was 'acting up'.


Pride for Red D...

I don't always hold the rail, and I've never gotten a ticket.

Pride for Red D...

Racism ?

G. Muffin

I would never hold the handrail.  Ew!  That quote from the germ expert in the article is misguided.  It's not reasonable to have to wash your hands post-escalator, pre-subway ride.  Then you go through your bag to get your fare, book, cell phone, whatever, and those germs are now spread all over everything.  Ew!


Good lord.  That's pathetic.  Come to Toronto, Bela, the TTC leaves much to be desired at times, but at least they're not a bunch of fascists!


She is the Woman's Coordinator for the Chess Federation of Canada. I was surprised to see her on the front of the G + M saturday.


sweet jeepers............cuffed for not holding the handrail.  Do cops go out of their way to look like asses?


Interesting discussion on this issue over at Chesstalk. www,chesstalk.com

Cueball Cueball's picture


Duncan from Chess talk.com writes:


Almost every aspect of life has some risk involved. Given the huge volumes of traffic on the TTC there will always be accidents. Holding the handrail is more of a "use as needed" rule requiring common sense. Legislating this is dumb.
Enforcing it in a heavy handed way is even worse.

Concerning the TTC, the fact the tracks have no barriers and some people stand right up at the edge is far more of a safety issue then escalators. By a mile, it's not even close. I can just imagine a society where several policeman stand at every station telling citizens they are within 3 feet of the edge move back or i'll arrest you.

And yet, if we are to follow the arguments some of you have wandered into on this topic, we most certainly would have to do that well before ever involving an escalator rail rule.

So you found an unfortunate isolated accident involving an escalator. Well, how many MORE stories have there been of people being pushed onto the tracks by strangers.

A little perspective might be in order. However, I do wonder if people paying municipal taxes in Montreal want to pay for these escalator patrols. Would it not be more practical and fair to allow citizen's to police their own behaviour in this regard. After all, almost no one deliberately puts their own welfare in danger which is required to create a sefety issue. And I am quite confidant Bela was creating NO safety issue.

Safety is a nice excuse however to support the heavy handed inappropriateness of the police in this case. And one might ask each and every person posting here if they have lived a life of no speeding, no jaywalking, and they hold the rail every time.


I agree.


Duncan's daughter has represented Canada in the last two Chess Olympiads on the Women's team.

Many of the chess talkers are pretty conservative.

Cueball Cueball's picture

They are mostly a bunch of freaks. I spent a whole week in New York at the 1984 Open with Bryon Nickoloff, and he spent the entire tournament [removed by moderator]. I don't know if he was conservative, or not, he seemed on edge. A whole mish-mash of ideas. 


Oh, I think not, Cueball.  I'd rather not receive any lawyer's letters today!


Was it deleted because he alledged someone else committed a criminal offense?


You knew Bryon Nickoloff? His partner Heather sometimes posts on the Ottawa Chess Club Board. I own a book of Bryon's chess games. Robert Hamilton a former NBer was a good friend of Bryon's.


If you're sure he's dead, you can put it back.


Yes, he is. Died of cancer.

Cueball Cueball's picture

Michelle wrote:

Oh, I think not, Cueball.  I'd rather not receive any lawyer's letters today!

He is dead. I think.


Cueball Cueball's picture

Caissa wrote:

You knew Bryon Nickoloff? His partner Heather sometimes posts on the Ottawa Chess Club Board. I own a book of Bryon's chess games. Robert Hamilton a former NBer was a good friend of Bryon's.

Yes. We shared a room in the Times Square Hotel in 84... or possibly it was 85. I think that is it actually. He sewered in the first two games and then let go of the tournament. He wore a long brown leather jacket all the time, long hair and had a kind of grissly riverboat gambler air about him.

 I met him with Igor Ivanov and Lawerence day. I racked up a sum total of one victory against him in a pool hall.

Richard Church

The tickets were quashed in municipal court because there is no STM regulation that empowers a police officer to compel people to hold the handrail. Anybody who says otherwise is just being mischievous.

The case now before the Supreme Court of Canada is whether or not a police officer can be held liable for acting on the basis of a legal fiction.

To learn more about the sordid details of this case visit the blog   https://1becomesmany.wixsite.com/index

Please consider making a contribution to help cover legal fees and court costs https://www.gofundme.com/police-abuse-of-power-lawsuit-to-the-supreme-court

alan smithee alan smithee's picture
Pogo Pogo's picture

Holding handrails?  He should have gone straight to walk left, stand right.