Toronto-area police are reminding drivers to be especially vigilant now that thousands of students are back at school — and back on the roads.
“We want to make sure that we are vigilant at all times when we are driving,” said Const. Thomas Ruttan of the Peel Regional Police.
Ruttan says drivers need to remember that kids don’t think like adults.
“They don’t drive so they don’t know what to expect from drivers. They’ve had a lot of experiences over the summer they want to share with their friends. They’re not paying attention to the roadway like we are paying attention or should be,” he said.
Misbehaving motorists will face higher fines under new Ontario laws that came into effect last month.
Drivers convicted of distracted driving now face a minimum fine of $490 and three demerit points with the maximum set at $1,000.
“I can think of a lot better things to spend my money on, that’s for sure,” Ruttan said. “Not to mention how dangerous it is, especially when children go to school.”
Police will also watching for proper stopping distances from school buses and crossing guard locations as well as speeding in school and community safety zones.
Motorists should also take care around kids going to and from school on bikes.
Ontario’s new laws also bring a minimum fine of $110 and two points to drivers who don’t leave at least one metre of space when possible when passing cyclists. Motorists who open their doors without looking, causing a cyclist to crash into them, now face a minimum fine of $365 and three demerit points.
Ontario’s New Road Rules that Became Effective Sept.1/15
A. Distracted Driving:
B. Pedestrian Cross Over/School Crossings:
C. Opening any vehicle door and coming into contract with cyclists or vehicle, also known as “Dooring” or a “Door Prize”:
D. Cyclists and their Bicycle Equipment:
E. Cyclists Must Now Be Provided 1 Metre/3.28084 Feet by Vehicles, When the Vehicle is Passing the Cyclist:
F.Tow Trucks.Motorists must slow down, and move over a lane, when tow trucks attend to roadside incidents and their amber lights are engaged.
G. Driver’s Licence can be used a valid photo identification, even after it has been revoked due to a medical condition, until it is formally reinstated:
H. Medically Unfit Drivers, Drivers with Medical Conditions: