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We love dogs! While certain breeds of dogs tend to have lower dog bite statistics, there is really no 100% guarantee that any dog will not bite you. Dog bites happen every day. In fact, there are close to 5 million people in North America that are injured by dogs on an annual basis. Furthermore, 81 % of dog attacks are on children (dogbite.org) .
Ontario’s Dog Owner’s Liability Act
The Ontario government has very specific laws when it comes to dog attacks and liability. The Dog Owner’s Liability Act (R.S.O. 1990, c. D.16) addresses several areas of liability including owner liability, contribution by a person(s) at fault, multiple owner liability and the extent of liability. When it comes to dog bites and liability, Ontario courts must consider all the above mentioned factors as well as any facts that surround the case, such as a dog’s history, was the dog provoked, precautions taken by the owner to preclude similar attacks in the future, the seriousness of the injuries caused by the biting or attack, unusual contributing circumstances tending to justify the dog’s action, . etc…There are many variations and questions that need to be asked when determining liability and compensation in a dog bite accident case. An experienced dog bite lawyer will be able to specifically advise you on your case.
Dog bite compensation and liability
In general , a dog owner is responsible for personal injuries inflicted to another person by their dog. However, if a dog attacks an individual who has entered a home or workplace with the intention of committing a criminal act, the dog’s owner will not be held responsible if the animal injures the intruder. There are some instances where the courts will determine that a dog needs to be put down . For instance, this could happen if the court determines that the animal is dangerous or a threat to other people, or that the dog has a history of attacking and biting other animals or individuals. Ontario courts can also decide that a dog may not necessarily be out down but will have certain conditions such as they will be confined to their owner’s property and the owner is responsible for making sure there are adequate warning signs regarding the dog and that the dog must be restrained in certain circumstances.
Pitbull dog bites
Of particular note, the Ontario government enacted legislation in 2005 to specifically dealt with pit bulls in Ontario.he Public Safety Related to Dogs Statute Law Amendment Act, 2005 was passed along with Ontario Regulation 157/05 which provides for the strict regulation and control of owning a pitbull in Ontario. This law now prohibits persons from owning, breeding, importing, abandoning or transferring any pitbulls.
For more information on dog bite compensation in Ontario, contact one of our dog bite lawyers for a free consultation.
Ottawa’s cycling culture continues to grow at a rapid pace. With the introduction of bike new bike lanes, cycling safety education, new safety measures such as Bill 31, Making Ontario’s Roads Safer, Cycling Safety Awareness Program (CSAP) and a general awareness less, it seems that there are more and more cyclists on Ottawa’s roads and many cycling infrastructure improvements .
Cycling rules in Ottawa
In Ottawa, cyclists are allowed on mixed-use pathways; however cyclists should follow these safety guidelines:
- Where there is one, always stay on the right of the yellow centre line
- Pass other cyclists safely
- Notify other cyclists when you are passing. Use a bell or notify them with your voice.
- Always drive in control.
- Make sure you are always well lit. Ride carefully, especially when it’s dark.
- Use a bicycle light.
Cycling on the sidewalk is prohibited by the City of Ottawa Traffic and Parking By-law except where it is permitted by official or authorized signs.
Cyclists under 18 must, by law, wear a helmet in Ontario.
Cyclists must have an alarm, bell or horn on their bike.
When cycling at night or in low visibility conditions, you need a white front light and a red rear reflector.
Bicycles must also have 25 cm of white reflective tape on the front forks and 25 cm of red reflective tape on the back forks .
On pathways, always stay under the courtesy limit of 20 km/h.
Cyclists wear a helmet (required if under 18 years old)
Ottawa Police are currently conducting an educational, awareness-building campaign that focuses on the new one-metre rule, which came into effect in Ontario in September 2015. Drivers are expected to leave at least one metre between themselves and a cyclist, when passing. Failure to do so could result in a fine.
The more drivers and cyclists work together to make our city a safe place to drive and cycle, the better we can make our city.
Our Ottawa personal injury lawyers care..
If you haven’t heard by now, the rules of road are still changing. As of June 21st, Ottawa police began testing the one meter rule that was passed as part of Ontario’s “Making Ontario’s Roads Safer Act” back in September of 2015. The act was designed to make roads safer for everyone, especially cyclists. The idea behind the act is that if drivers remember to leave 1 metre between themselves and a cyclists when passing to ensure a safe passing, fewer cycling accidents will occur. Ontario drivers who violate this law can face a $180 fine and receive 2 demerit points.
Will the one-meter reduce the chance of an Ottawa cycling accident ?
This new legislation strives to ensure that all road pass cyclists at a safe distance. The Ottawa Police set out on June 21, with one-metre reading device attached to their bicycle. The device then measures the distance between their bicycle and a passing vehicle to determine if the one-meter space between themselves and a cyclist is present. If the vehicle is passing too closely, the device on the Police bicycle will beep.
Ottawa is one of the first municipalities in all of Canada to be using the one-metre device technology. This comes as no surprise as Ottawa has been working on and developing its cycling culture for some time now. With close to 1.2 million Ontarians riding their bicycles on a daily basis, it’s no wonder cycling safety initiatives are paramount. Sadly, any personal injury lawyer in Ottawa will also tell you, some of the worst cases we see are cycling accidents.
Ontario government and cycling safety
As of late, the government has imposed strict consequences for drivers who fail to proceed safely around cyclists. Ontario drivers now face an increased minimum fine of $365 for “dooring” , which is opening a vehicle’s door and causing a cyclist to crash into the vehicle. The hope is with further developments in cycling safety, our roads will eventually have fewer and fewer cycling accidents. The one-metre rule is likely just the beginning of cycling safety rules to come.
On the flip side, cyclists also have to do their share in keeping safe roads. By law, cyclists can also be fined if it is determined that the laws of the road were not followed and common sense safety precautions were not present. Cyclists also face a fined $110 for missing front lights and back reflectors.
If both drivers and cyclists do their part, we can strive together for safer road conditions for all.