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We will travel to your home, hospital, or rehabilitation centre throughout eastern Ontario.
Now that school is in session and Ottawa area students are settled on campus, let’s talk about campus safety. Students are busy with their studies and engaging in all of the fun and excitement of college life: club and pubs, sports and socializing. With so many new routines, new surroundings and new friends, student safety is always a concern for students and staff alike.
Every year, accidents and injuries do occur on our college campuses even with an abundance of safety measures in place. All three Ottawa post-secondary institutions maintain strong campus safety policies and programs as well as strong communication campaigns. All three also employ security staff to ensure student welfare.
Any student’s best defense is always to make safety a top priority and prepare to reduce the risk.
Campus Safety Tips for Ottawa Area Students
Use the Buddy System
As often as possible, when walking at night, bring a buddy. There’s power in numbers, and you are less likely to become a target when walking pairs or a group. Walking with someone will also reduce the chances of being involved in a pedestrian accident. Need a buddy? Visit the website of your school and learn about the foot patrol program. Here are a few important numbers you may need:
University of Ottawa: Non-emergency: 613-562-5499 or Emergency: 613-562-5411 (or Emergency button on your Mitel telephone)
Carleton University : On-Campus Medical 613-520-4444
Algonquin College: Dial 5000 from any campus phone or Security Services 613-727-4723 X 5000 emergencies
Be Aware of Your Surroundings
The best way to avoid accident or injury is to remain alert and aware. Distracted people make easy targets. Easy targets walk while on their phones and don’t pay attention to their surroundings. When walking on campus, look around for suspicious people and activities at all times. Remain alert.
Take A Safe Route
Avoid walking at night if possible. If you have to walk at night, take a well-lit path. Look for street lamps and other lit paths and stay where there are a lot of people. Be aware of the new pedestrian crosswalk rules.
Don’t Give Out Personal Information
Never give out your room number or exact address to strangers, people you have just met, or friends you have met online. Have them meet you somewhere neutral first to see if they are trustworthy before inviting them to your home or your room. Also, be mindful of what you share on social media.
Let Your Close Friends Know Where You Are Going
While it is risky to reveal your whereabouts or plans on social media, sharing this information with your roommates or close friends is a good safety measure. Let someone know where you are going, who you are going to meet and when you are likely to be back.
Prevent Crime While Driving
When driving on or near campus, stay on well-traveled roadways and always keep your doors locked. Before entering your vehicle, make sure no one is lying in the backseat or on the floor. If someone is following your car, drive to the nearest police station.
Report Suspicious Activity
If you see someone acting suspiciously, report it to campus police immediately. If you ever feel unsafe or threatened, find a safe well-lit place and call the police.
Watch Your Food and Drink
Never accept food or drink from people that you don’t know. Always keep your eyes on your food or drink during a party or date. Never leave your drink unattended at a bar or at a party.
Always Carry Your Cell Phone
Your phone is an asset to your safety. Use it to keep emergency contact numbers and install an alarm app.
We hope that all students enjoy a rewarding school year. Stay safe, be aware and make safety a priority.
From our Ottawa injury lawyers…
Our Ottawa injury lawyers hope you have enjoyed your summer. As we head into the fall and see the kids back off to school, we thought we would remind you of a few very important recent changes to laws for Ontario drivers and pedestrians.
Changes to passing cyclists
Drivers must give cyclists at least one metre of room wherever possible. This offence in Ontario could cost you $110 and two demerit points . Ottawa police say they’ll start enforcing the law shortly.
Dooring is also an area with newer rules and fines. In Ontario, motorists who open the door of their vehicle into the path of a cyclist without checking first will face increased set fines of $365 and three demerit points, if conviction.
Changes to distracted driving
Please remember that it’s not just about talking on your phone. In Ontario, you are not permitted to look at your phone, text or talk without hands-free on your phone when driving. In Ontario, the current penalty for distracted driving is approximately $200 to an increased fine of $490 and 3 demerit points, if convicted. New drivers with a G1 or G2 license could also have their driving permits suspended on the spot.
Changes to pedestrian crossovers
In January of this year, new laws in Ontario came into effect when it comes to pedestrians and crosswalks. Ontario drivers now must wait until pedestrians have completely crossed the other side of road at crossovers and school crossings. Before, drivers only needed to wait until a pedestrian had crossed their side of the road only. For more detailed information , visit www.ottawainjury.ca/lawyers/safety/new-laws-ontario-pedestrian-crosswalks/
Changes to driving under the influence
Drinking and driving is not only only type of driving considered to be “under the influence” . Ontario drivers caught driving under the influence of illegal drugs now face the same penalties a someone who is considered a drunk driver. Depending on how influenced a drivers is, the fines and penalties vary from a 3- 90 day suspension of one’s driver’s licence.
Changes to driving around emergency vehicles
Otherwise known as the “move over” law, Ontario drivers will be required to slow down and move into the next lane over whenever passing a stopped emergency vehicle such as police, ambulance, fire and tow trucks, when their lights are flashing and they are pulled over. The fine in Ontario for not complying with these rules is $490 and three demerit points.
Be safe out there….
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.