2010 will usher in dramatic fine increases and greater penalties for certain offences under the Highway Traffic Act. Effective Friday, January 1, 2010 the costs and penalties associated with some traffic infractions on Ontario’s highways and roads will dramatically increase.
Moving and Stopping for Emergency Vehicles: Driver’s of motor vehicles must get out of the way and move pull over to the right and stop when an emergency vehicle is approaching from either direction.
Following Fire Department Vehicles: Motor vehicles must stay back 150 metres (492 feet) from a Fire Department Vehicle, as it is illegal to follow a Fire Department Vehicle (or ambulance) responding to an alarm.
Both of these rules of road can be found in section 159 of the Highway Traffic Act.
If in the New Year, a motorist doesn’t move over and stop for an Emergency Vehicle or follows a Fire Department Vehicle, the current maximum penalty of Five Hundred ($ 500.00) dollars will have the increased penalties apply, upon conviction of the offence:
Another conviction for the same offence(s):
Four Thousand ($4,000.00) dollars and;
The other Highway Traffic Act Offences which will have their penalties increase in the New Year, will be for the following traffic infractions:
Not wearing a seatbelt or ensuring a passenger under 16 is not properly secured within the vehicle:
Approximately one quarter of all drivers and passengers killed in motor vehicle collisions are not wearing a seatbelt. Failure to wear seatbelt or to ensure that a child, who is a passenger in the vehicle. under 16 years of age, is not properly secured or wearing a seatbelt will attract a new increased fine. See section 106 of the Highway Traffic Act:
Failure to Stop at Red Lights:
The Provincial Government figures that drivers that fail to stop at a red light is the reason that 25 % of fatal collisions at municipal intersections with traffic signals occurs. See section 144 of the Highway Traffic Act:
Fail to Remain at the Scene of a Collision/(Accident):
The Provincial Government made this change, relying on statistics that out of approximately 380,000 collisions in the year 2006, about one in seventeen (17) failed to remain at the scene of the collision. As a result, the government is increasing the maximum fine. See section 200 of the Highway Traffic Act:
The law, in part, states that driver’s operating motor vehicles carelessly on a highway without due care and attention will be charged with this serious offence of careless driving. See section 130 of the Highway Traffic Act:
“The more laws, the less justice.” Marcus Tullius Cicero
Update: December 10, 2009 – Ontario Government’s announcement.
Update: December 30, 2009 – Another point of view.