Be aware of new rules in Ontario at pedestrian crosswalks aim to reduce pedestrian accidents.

Ottawa personal injury lawyers:  Ontario residents- new rules at pedestrian crossovers and school crossings aiming to reduce pedestrian accidents.

2016 has arrived and with it are some new rules that are aimed at reducing the number of pedestrian accidents. Beginning on January 1st, Ontario  drivers and cyclists must stop and yield the whole roadway at pedestrian crossovers as well as at school crossings where there is a crossing guard displaying a school crossing stop sign. Only when pedestrians and school crossing guards are safely on the sidewalk, can drivers and cyclists proceed to drive or cycle.

Do drivers have to stop at all crossovers?

No. In Ontario, the new rules indicate that drivers must stop only at pedestrian crossovers identified with specific signs, road markings and lights. In addition, the new legislation indicates that a vehicle shall stop when a pedestrian is crossing on the roadway within a pedestrian crossover. This new rule does not apply to pedestrian crosswalks at intersections with stop signs or traffic signals, with the exception being when a school crossing guard is present at the crosswalk. These new laws come out of Bill 31, the Making Ontario’s Roads Safer Act.  Part of these new rules also

pedestrian accident crosswalksstate that municipal road authorities will also install new types of pedestrian crossovers on less busy roads with lower speeds.

What is the difference between a pedestrian crossover and a crosswalk? 

Yes, a crossover is different than a crosswalk.  The new law applies at pedestrian crossovers, not at crosswalks (with the exception of a crosswalk with a school crossing guard).  The easiest way to tell the difference is a pedestrian crossover is identified by signs, markings, illuminated lights overhead and have a pedestrian push button. For a visual image of the difference between a crossover and a crosswalk, visit Ontario’s Ministry of Transportation website.

How can pedestrians reduce pedestrian accidents?

Both pedestrians and drivers need to make an effort and do their part in reducing the number of accidents in Ontario. There are many things a pedestrian can do to help reduce the number of pedestrian accidents such as:

  • Don’t Jay-Walk and walk only at marked crosswalks or cross at traffic lights.
  • Before crossing, make yourself visible. Let the driver see you and if possible, make eye contact.
  • Wear bright, visible clothing. Try to buy shoes or clothing that reflect the light at night.
  • Be careful when crossing. Don’t step out just because the light has changed.  First make sure that vehicles have come to a complete stop.
  • Use common sense.

How can drivers reduce pedestrian accidents?

In addition to following all road and safety rules, drivers can help in reducing accidents by:

  • Paying close attention to pedestrians and the surrounding areas.
  • Being particularly cautious around schools, parks or any areas where children may be playing. 
  • Ensuring that your car is in excellent working order.
  • Not driving to close to a sidewalk.

What are the fines for breaking these rules?

 

Drivers and cyclists will be fined $150 to $500 as well as 3 demerit points for offences at pedestrian crossings, school crossings and at crosswalks in Ontario, where there are traffic signals.  Fines will also be doubled in community safety zones.

These new rules regarding pedestrian crosswalks and pedestrian crossovers will hopefully help in reducing the number of pedestrian accidents in Ontario. We all have a part in this, drivers, cyclists and pedestrians. Sadly, our personal injury lawyers meet too often with pedestrians who have been severely injured and often times, the accident could have been avoided. Please, drive, cycle and walk safely.


What are Ontario Accident Benefits ? Are family members entitled to accident benefits?

Ontario Car Insurance Claims and Accident Benefits. Who can access Ontario benefits?

Statutory Accident Benefits (SABS) are provided by law in every Ontario auto insurance policy. All Accident Benefits are standard and equal among insurance companies, unless you opt for “top up” coverage. Ontario  Accident Benefits provide compensation, regardless of who is at fault, for drivers, passengers, pedestrians and family members who suffer personal injury or death caused by an accident in Ontario or any accident if you are a resident in Ontario. The following accident benefits are the standard Ontario Accident Benefits and are available to most accident victims in Ontario:
  • Income Replacement: Just like it says…the income replacement benefit compensates  for lost income/wages.
  • Non-earner benefit: The non-earner benefit applies when you are unable to carry on a “normal life” and do not qualify for either an Income Replacement benefit or Caregiver benefit.
  • Caregiver benefits: Compensation for expenses incurred when a member of your home needs care and someone is hired to care for them because you no longer can.
  • Medical benefits: Covers medical expenses that occurred as a result of the injury.
  • Rehabilitation benefits: Covers rehabilitation expenses incurred as a result of an injury.
  • Attendant Care benefits: Covers some of the expense incurred by hiring an aide or attendant.
  • Compensation for Other Expenses: These accident benefits pay for some expenses such as monies put out by family members costs in being with you during visitation and recovery. Often times some housekeeping and home maintenance is also covered , as well as lost or damaged articles during accident. ie: computer in car etc…
  • Death benefits: Family members may collect this accident benefit on behalf of a deceased family member.
  • Funeral benefits: These accident benefits help cover funeral expenses.

There are many more Ontario accident benefits available to Ontario drivers.  If you are unsure of whether or not you are receiving everything you are entitled to from your Ontario insurance company, it is best you consult with an Ontario injury lawyer.  We meet daily with people and walk them through their best options. Often times all they need is a little advice.  Unfortunately most insurance companies will not tell you unless you ask and most people don’t know what to ask for.  We know Ontario accident benefits inside and out we have experienced staff who specialize in Ontario accident benefits.  We can help.