This week Ontario passed the Making Ontario Roads Safer Act, which included new fines and measures coming in to affect over the next few months. With the new legislation Ontario will have some of the toughest distracted driving penalties in the world. The new bill also includes new laws for drivers in regards to cyclists and pedestrians in order to reduce collisions, injuries and fatalities on our roads. Here are a few things to keep in mind about the new Making Ontario Roads Safer Act when on our roads:
- Fines are increasing for distracted driving from the current $60 to $500 to a range of $300 to $1000 plus 3 demerit points. Distracted driving is also added to the conditions of novice drivers.
- Drug-impaired driving will result in roadside suspensions of three, seven, 30 and 90 days with seven-day vehicle impoundment.
- People with medical suspensions will be able to keep their license for identification purposes.
- Municipalities can collect unpaid fines by expanding license plate denial for drivers who do not pay certain provincial offences.
- The bill requires that drivers wait until pedestrians completely cross the road at crosswalks with pedestrian-operated crossing lights and at school crossings.
- Drivers are required to keep a distance of one meter while passing cyclists.
- Cyclists who don’t have proper reflectors or required bicycle lights could face fines of up to $500. The bill would also allow the use of flashing red lights on bicycles.
- Cycling along the paved shoulder of provincial highways (400 series excluded) would be allowed, which is currently disallowed under the act.
- “Dooring” a cyclist by knocking them off their bike with your car could cost you up to $1000 under the new law.
Whether you’re running late for work or stuck in traffic on the way to the cottage keep in mind that we all need to share our roadways and be aware of others around us.
For more information about the new Making Ontario Roads Safer Act check out: http://news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/canadian-politics/1000-tickets-for-distracted-driving-500-for-biking-without-a-light-and-other-laws-to-hit-ontario-streets