Update: see previous posts – August 31, 2015 Ontario is Ready to Enforce Stiff Fines of up to $1,000 this Fall for Distracted Driving, June 3/15 New Ontario Road Laws Will Cost Ontarians Huge, June 2, 2015 Bill 31, Transportation Statute Law Amendment Act (Making Ontario’s Roads Safer), 2015 Receives Royal Assent
Bill 31, Transportation Statute Law Amendment Act (Making Ontario’s Roads Safer), received Royal Assent on June 2, 2015 and came into effect today – with significant changes to the rules on all of Ontario’s roads and highways.
Starting tomorrow, the penalty for distracted driving includes a $490 fine and three (3) demerit points for those who are convicted. Distracted drivers without a full ‘G Class’ licence (ie. novice drivers) face a 30-day suspension in addition to the other penalties.
Drivers convicted of “dooring” cyclists will now be fined $365 and will also receive three demerit points. Motorists will also be required to leave a one-metre distance where possible when passing cyclists or they could be fined $110 and receive two demerit points.
Cyclists who don’t follow the rules of the road also face increased fines under the new law.
For those who don’t use the required bicycle lights and reflectors, they could face a set fine of $110.
The new legislation states that drivers must leave a safe passing distance between their vehicles and tow trucks stopped on the side of the road. Those who don’t slow down and move over for tow trucks could face a $490 fine.
- Fines jump to between $300 to $1,000, from the current $60 to $500. The Fine increases from $280 to $490.
- Three (3) demerit points if convicted of a distracted driving offence.
- Distracted driving added to list of novice driver conditions.
- A Novice Driver (without a full “G-Licence”) convicted of Distracted Driving (A novice driver is one with a G1, G2, M1, M2, M2-L or M2-M licence.) face a minimum 30-day suspension (suspensions to be increased on any subsequent convictions) in addition to the other penalties.
- Roadside suspensions of three, seven, 30 and 90 days.
- Seven-day impoundment of vehicle.
- Treatment or remedial education may be ordered.
- Ignition interlock condition can be applied.
- Repeat offenders would have to complete alcohol education program, treatment and monitoring.
PEDESTRIANS AND CYCLISTS
- Drivers must allow pedestrians to completely cross at a school and pedestrian crossing before moving forward, current rules says driver must only yield half the crossing.
- Cyclists will be allowed to use paved shoulders on unrestricted highways.
- Cyclists shall not ride or operate a bicycle across a roadway within a pedestrian crossover (crosswalk).
- Dooring a cyclist will carry a fine of $300 to $1,000, up from the current $60 to $500, on conviction. The Fine will be $365 from the previous $60.
- Dooring a cyclist will come with three (3) demerit points, up from two demerit points, on conviction.
- Drivers required to keep a distance of one metre while passing cyclists where practical or face a minimum fine of $110 and two (2) demerit points. The fine increases to $180 if motorists don’t leave enough space when passing cyclists in a community safety zone.
- Fine for failure to use required bicycle lights and other reflective equipment rises to $60 to $500 from current maximum of $20.
- Cyclists will be allowed to use flashing red lights as safety feature on bikes.
- A bike must have a white front light and a red rear light or reflector if you ride between ½ hour before sunset and ½ hour after sunrise, and white reflective tape on the front forks and red reflective tape on rear forks.
- Dooring: this involves the act of a driver or passenger opening a door, on either side of the vehicle, where a cyclist ends up coming into contact with that opened door. Either the driver or passenger can be charged. The Fault Determination Rules in Regulation 668 under the Insurance Act of Ontario finds that any driver or passenger that opens the door of the vehicle, on the driver’s side or passenger side is 100% responsible for any incident where a cyclist comes into contact with that door.
- An estimated 1.2 million Ontarians ride a bicycle on a daily basis.
PEDESTRIAN & SCHOOL CROSSOVERS/CROSSWALKS
- No person shall ride or operate a bicycle across a roadway within a pedestrian crossover
Duties of driver:
- (1) When a pedestrian is crossing on the roadway within a pedestrian crossover, the driver of a vehicle approaching the crossover
- (a) shall stop before entering the crossover
- (b) shall not overtake another vehicle already stopped at the crossover; and
- (c) shall not proceed into the crossover until the pedestrian is no longer on the roadway
- When a vehicle is approaching a pedestrian crossover and is within 30 metres of it, the driver of any other vehicle approaching from the rear shall not allow the front extremity of his or her vehicle to pass beyond the front extremity of the other vehicle.
- No pedestrian shall leave the curb or other place of safety at a pedestrian crossover and walk, run or move into the path of a vehicle that is so close that it is impracticable for the driver of the vehicle to comply with subsection (1).
MEDICALLY UNFIT DRIVERS, DRIVERS WITH MEDICAL CONDITIONS
- Bill strengthens mandatory and discretionary medical reporting requirements for conditions that impact driving ability.
- More medical professionals will be allowed to report conditions impacting driving.
TRUCK AND TOW TRUCKS
- Longer trucks allowed — maximum B-train double trailer combinations be extended to 27.5 metres from 25 metres.
- Slow Down, Move Over requirement for motorists would apply to two trucks at side or roadside incidents when amber lights engaged, not just first responders like police. The minimum fine for failing to slow down and move over is $490.
VEHICLE PLATE DENIAL
- Licence plate denial expanded to those who do not pay Provincial Offences Act (POA) fines for offences such as speeding, improper lane changes, illegal turns, driving with no insurance and careless driving.
- Municipalities given more tools to charge and prosecute individuals from out-of-province who run red lights and fail to stop for school buses.
- Under Making Ontario’s Roads Safer Act, Bill 31 School buses will be more recognizible — they will now be the only buses permitted to be chrome yellow.
- Drivers failing to stop for a school bus can be fined up to $2,000 and six demerit points for a first conviction.