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Ontario Passes Legislation to Improve Road Safety

Posted in Canada, Community

Tagged: , , , ,

Published on June 03, 2015 with No Comments

New Rules Will Help Reduce Collisions, Injuries and Fatalities

June 2, 2015:

Today, Ontario passed the Making Ontario’s Roads Safer Act to help ensure that the province’s roads are among the safest in North America.

In order to reduce collisions, injuries and fatalities on Ontario’s roads, the new act will:

  • Increase fines for distracted driving from the current range of $60 to $500 to a range of $300 to $1,000, assigning three demerit points upon conviction, and escalating sanctions on convictions for novice drivers
  • Apply current alcohol-impaired sanctions to drivers who are drug impaired
  • Introduce additional measures to address repeat offenders of alcohol impaired driving
  • Require drivers to wait until pedestrians have completely crossed the road before proceeding at school crossings and pedestrian crossovers
  • Increase fines and demerits for drivers who ‘door’ cyclists, and require all drivers to maintain a minimum distance of one-metre when passing cyclists where possible
  • Help municipalities collect unpaid fines by expanding licence plate denial for drivers who do not pay certain Provincial Offences Act fines.
  • Allow a broader range of qualified medical professionals to identify and report medically unfit drivers and, clarify the types of medical conditions to be reported.

The new fines and measures will come into force over the coming months. The new legislation builds on action that the province has already taken to improve road safety, including making booster seats mandatory, ensuring every person wears a seatbelt, introducing the Graduated Licensing System for novice drivers, establishing stiffer penalties for aggressive driving and excess speeding, bringing in tougher impaired driving laws, and banning hand-held devices while driving.

Ensuring Ontario’s roads and highways are safe is part of the government’s economic plan for Ontario. The four-part plan includes investing in people’s talents and skills, making the largest investment in public infrastructure in Ontario’s history, creating a dynamic, innovative environment where business thrives, and building a secure retirement savings plan.

The Ontario Safety League is pleased to see the Making Ontario’s Roads Safer Actnow coming into effect. As a road safety stakeholder and advocacy organization, this shows the importance government places on saving lives and educating all road users. It strikes the balance required between enforcement and public safety. As a result of this bill, our roads will be safer and as with other leading legislation created in Ontario, the rest of Canada will likely adopt similar legislation shortly.”

-Brian Patterson, President and CEO, Ontario Safety League

“The safety of road users across Ontario continues to be the top priority of CAA. With the passing of Making Ontario’s Roads Safer Act, Ontarians will see enhancements to cycling safety, stronger distracted driving regulations and see the inclusion of tow trucks, alongside emergency service providers, in Slow Down Move Over laws, in addition to many other issues addressed in the bill. Altogether, these improvements will impact the safety of all road users regardless of their mode of transportation.  We congratulate the government for passing this comprehensive bill.”

-Teresa Di Felice, Director, Government & Community Relations and Driver Education at CAA South Central Ontario

“In Canada, motor vehicle collisions are the leading cause of death among people 15-24 years of age. Distracted driving has overtaken impaired driving as the leading cause for serious injuries. An overwhelming majority of collisions are predictable and preventable, and MakingOntario’s Roads Safer Act contains important measures to keep our roads safe. We all have a role to play. Parachute applauds the Ontario government for itsleadership and commitment to road safety for all road users.”

-Louise Logan, President and CEO, Parachute

“Arrive alive DRIVE SOBER supports this legislation, and we look forward to promoting awareness of it specifically around drug impaired driving. The changes in Making Ontario’s Roads Safer Act address gaps in our system relatedto drug-impaired driving and distracted driving, both of which are increasing concerns as causes of collisions, injuries and deaths on our roads.”

-M. (Al) Reid, President, arrive alive DRIVE SOBER

“Drugs and driving is a significant problem on Ontario roads.The passage of Making Ontario’s Roads Safer Act ensures police enforcement agencies have additional tools to remove drug impaired drivers from our roads. MADD Canada is pleased that Ontario continues to lead the way in the fight against impaired driving.”

-Andrew Murie, Chief Executive Officer, MADD Canada

“Ontario Students Against Impaired Driving (OSAID) has been motivating teens to drive alcohol-free and drug-free since 1987.The legislation provides comprehensive steps towards reducing death and injury for all Ontarians. This is a progressive step forward for road safety in Ontario, aimed to compel and prevent all drivers from operating a vehicle while impaired by alcohol, drugs, or using their phone.”

-Matt Evans, Executive Director, OSAID

“I am pleased to see the passage of this comprehensive legislation.  It will certainly benefit every road user by providing police, courts and the government with new and enhanced tools to deal with the road abusers.”

-Superintendent Gord Jones, Toronto Police Services, Co-Chair of the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police (OACP) Traffic Committee

“Municipal governments have been waiting a long time for the ability to collect defaulted fines. The changes this legislation brings will make our system fairer by ensuring drivers are held accountable for their actions. It will make our roads safer for all road users. We urge the government to implement the changes quickly so municipalities can do their jobs.”

-Gary McNamara, President, Association of Municipalities of Ontario

“The Making Ontario’s Roads Safer legislation is an important step forward for our province. This modernization of the Highway Traffic Act provides municipalities with effective tools for encouraging cycling, gives road users clear strategies for sharing the road safely and opens the door to new economic development and tourism opportunities.”

-Jamie Stuckless, Executive Director, Share the Road Cycling Coalition

QUOTES

“Ontario’s roads are among the safest in North America and this new legislation is intended to keep it that way. I look forward to continued collaboration with our law enforcement and other dedicated road safety partners to implement these measures.”

— Steven Del Duca, Minister of Transportation

QUICK FACTS

  • If current collision trends continue, fatalities from distracted driving may exceed those from drinking and driving by 2016.
  • 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.
  • Pedestrians represent about one in five motor vehicle-related fatalities on Ontario roads — 46 per cent of which occurred at intersections.

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