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.
"It was horrible, disgusting behaviour [by police]," said Ms. Kosoian, a 38-year-old student of international law. "I did nothing wrong. They should go find the guys who stole my tires off the balcony."
Ms. Kosoian, who grew up in Georgia when it was still part of the Soviet Union, says she didn't catch the officer's instruction to hold the rail when he first approached.
When he told her again to hang on, she says she replied, "I don't have three hands." Besides, she had been sick and feared catching a new bug.
That's when the officer demanded identification so he could write her ticket, she said.
Ms. Kosoian started arguing. The officers handcuffed her and threw her into a small holding cell. The officers searched her bag and gave her a $100 ticket for failing to hold the banister and another $320 ticket for obstruction.
The handcuffs bruised Ms. Kosoian's wrists and an officer's boot scraped skin off the top of her foot.
She intends to fight the tickets.