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Ontario government looking to reduce Ottawa accidents and accidents throughout Ontario.

Ottawa Personal Injury Lawyers for Safer Roads and Fewer Accidentsontarioaccidentcycling

written by Qasim Ebrahimi

Ontario’s Safer Roads Act

The Ontario government passed the Making Ontario’s Roads Safer Act, which makes a number of amendments to the Highway Traffic Act in an effort to improve road safety.  Some of the new measures will come into force over the coming months, while others may take up to a couple of years.  These measures affect drivers, cyclists and pedestrians, in addition to increasing the fines for distracted driving and “dooring” cyclists.  The amendments will include the following, in addition to a number of other changes:

Ontario Bicycling

·         Traffic control signals that are specific to bicyclists will be allowed to be implemented.  In locations where there are both bicycle traffic control signals and regular traffic control signals, bicyclists will be required to obey the bicycle traffic control signals.
·         Bicyclists will no longer be prohibited against riding or operating a bicycle along a cross walk.
·         The driver of a motor vehicle in overtaking a bicycle will be required to maintain a distance of at least one metre, as nearly as practicable, between the vehicle and bicycle.
·         Bicycles will be permitted to be ridden or operated on the paved shoulder of a highway that is divided into two separate roadways.

Ontario Pedestrian Safety

·         Drivers will be required to remain stopped at a pedestrian crossover or school crossing until the person crossing the street and the school crossing guard are off the roadway.  Drivers were previously allowed to proceed once the person crossing and the school crossing guard are no longer on the driver’s half of the roadway.
·         In addition, when a pedestrian is crossing on the roadway within a pedestrian crossover, the driver of a vehicle approaching the crossover is required to stop before entering the crossover, and is prohibited from overtaking another vehicle already stopped at the crossover.  
·         Pedestrians or persons in a wheelchair must not enter a crossover and into the path of a vehicle or street car that is so close that the driver cannot stop.

Making Ontario’s Roads Safer Act Penalties

·         Currently, drivers are prohibited from driving a motor vehicle on a highway if the display screen of a television, computer or other device in the motor vehicle is visible to the driver, with certain exceptions such as a GPS unit that is providing navigation information, a collision avoidance system, speedometer etc.  as provided under the Highway Traffic Act.    In addition, drivers are prohibited from holding or using a wireless communication device such as a cell phone, or other hand-held entertainment device, with certain exceptions such as hands-free mode etc. as provided under theHighway Traffic Act. The penalties for being convicted of an offence in contravention of these prohibitions will be a fine between $300 and $1,000.
·         Currently, drivers and passengers are prohibited from opening the door of their motor vehicle without first taking due precautions for the safety of other persons or vehicles.  The penalty on conviction of an offence in contravention of this prohibition increases from a fine of between $60 and $500 to between $300 and $1,000.
·         Currently, drivers are required to slow down and move into another lane when approaching a stopped emergency vehicle with its red or red and blue lights flashing.  Drivers will be required to do the same for a tow truck stopped with its amber lights flashing.
·         In addition to being prohibited from attaching themselves to and being towed by a vehicle or street car on a highway while riding or operating various devices (bicycles, toboggans, roller skates, etc.), persons are prohibited from doing the same with skateboards, in-line skates and any other type of conveyance.
I’m sure we can all agree that the number of accidents in Ontario and Ottawa accidents should decrease.  Sometimes, simple small steps is all it takes. The Ontario government is implementing a few small changes in the hopes of better and safer roads. Let’s all work together and do whatever we can to protect our drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians.
Stay safe on our roads !

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