New Ontario Road Safety Rules Come Into Effect - Diamond and Diamond Lawyers

New Ontario Road Safety Rules Come Into Effect

On September 1, 2015, new rules are in place to help protect Ontario’s drivers, cyclists and pedestrians. Some of the changes include tougher penalties for distracted drivers (i.e. using a cell phone while driving), greater protection for cyclists, measures to ensure the safety of tow truck drivers and children travelling by school bus.

These amendments to the Making Ontario’s Roads Safer Act will result in hefty fines for those who disobey the rules, with the aim of reducing car accidents in Ontario. Minister of Transportation Stephen Del Duca addressed media on Tuesday saying he is focused on making his message clear: distracted driving will not be tolerated.

“If current trends continue, fatalities from distracted driving will exceed those from drinking and driving by 2016,” said Del Duca.

Getting tougher on distracted driving

Penalties for distracted driving will increase to a minimum $490 per ticket plus three demerit points. This is up from $280 minimum previously. In addition, novice drivers (you are considered a novice driver if you have a G1, G2, M1, M2, M2-L or M2-M license) will receive a minimum 30-day suspension for the first conviction and longer suspensions for subsequent actions.

Did you know that it is 4 times more likely for a driver who uses a cell phone while driving to get in to a car accident?

Reducing bicycle accident injuries and fatalities

“Dooring”, where a car door opens and hits a bicyclist, will carry an increased minimum fine of $365 and three demerit points upon conviction. New rules will also require drivers to leave a one-metre distance where possible when passing cyclists, or they may face the penalty of $110 and two demerit points. Cyclists are also required to follow tougher new rules, those who don’t install and use the required bicycle lights and reflectors face an increased minimum fine of $110.

A quick note, a bike must have a white front light and a red rear light or reflector if riding a ½ hour before sunset and ½ hour after sunrise, and white reflective tape on the front forks and red reflective tape on rear forks.

Did you know that 1.2 million Ontario residents ride a bicycle on a daily basis?

Protecting School Buses and Tow Trucks

When passing a tow truck providing roadside assistance, similar to pulled over emergency vehicles, drivers must now leave a safe passing distance. Those who disobey may be subject to a minimum $490 fine.

In addition, the Ontario government has new rules to increase safety for school buses. School buses are the only vehicles on the road permitted to be chrome yellow.

These rules and increased fines go a long way to protect and prevent car accident injuries, bicycle accidents and pedestrian fatalities. I commend the Ontario government for implementing harsher penalties.

If you find yourself in a bicycle or car accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Call Jeremy Diamond, Sandra Zisckind or anyone on the team at Diamond & Diamond Personal Injury Lawyers. We will work tirelessly to make sure you get the compensation you deserve. Call us for a free consultation at 1-800-567-HURT (4878) or visit us here.

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