Province Introducing New Legislation to Make Ontario’s Roads Safer
Ontario is introducing legislation that, if passed, would help keep the province’s roads among the safest in North America by reducing collisions, injuries and fatalities.
If passed, the proposed legislation and supporting amendments to the Highway Traffic Act will make highways and roads safer by:
- Increasing fines for distracted driving from its current range of $60 to $500 to a range of $300 to $1,000; assigning three demerit points upon conviction; and adding distracted driving to the existing list of novice driver conditions.
- Applying current alcohol impaired sanctions to drivers who are drug impaired.
- Introducing additional measures to address repeat offenders of alcohol impaired driving.
- Requiring drivers to wait until a pedestrian has completely crossed the road before proceeding at school crossings and pedestrian crossovers.
- Increasing fines and demerits for drivers who door cyclists, and requiring all drivers to maintain a distance of one metre when passing cyclists, where practicable.
- Helping municipalities collect unpaid fines by expanding licence plate denial for drivers who do not pay Provincial Offences Act fines.
Ensuring Ontario’s roads and highways are safe is part of the government’s economic plan for Ontario. The four part plan is building Ontario up by investing in people’s talents and skills, building new public infrastructure like roads and transit, creating a dynamic, supportive environment where business thrives, and building a secure savings plan so everyone can afford to retire.
- According to recent statistics, over 45 per cent of drivers killed in Ontario were found to have drugs or a combination of drugs and alcohol in their system.
- If current collision trends continue, fatalities from distracted driving may exceed those from drinking and driving by 2016.
- Pedestrians represent about one in six motor vehicle-related fatalities on Ontario roads — 41 per cent of which occurred at intersections.
- The proposed legislation would build on existing measures Ontario has introduced to improve road safety, including making booster seats mandatory, ensuring every person wears a seatbelt, introducing stiffer penalties for street racing, bringing in tougher impaired driving laws, and banning hand-held devices while driving.