A number of sections in Ontario’s Highway Traffic Act were revised by virtue of Bill 31, the “Making Ontario’s Roads Safer Act”. For instance, the previous range for fine amounts was $60 to $500. Those amounts will be increased to between $300 and $1,000 and offenders will be given 3 demerit points based on each offense.
More importantly, there are 5 new traffic laws provided for in Bill 31 that could have an impact on your driving. While the law itself is very complex and tedious, most personal injury lawyers in Cambridge, Brantford, or Hamilton can interpret it for you if you have been injured and intend on filing a claim.
Alcohol and Drugs
Under the new law, individuals driving under the influence of drugs will be fined and penalized the same way that drunk drivers are. Your license could be suspended up to 90 days and your vehicle could be impounded for up to a week.
Drivers who are caught looking at, talking on, or texting on their cell phones are going to be facing larger fine amounts and extra demerit points. As of Sept. 1st, 2015, individuals guilty of distracted driving will pay a $490 fine and receive 3 demerit points. In addition to this, individuals who have G1 or G2 licenses could see them suspended.
While motorists are now required to provide cyclists with a minimum space of 1 meter between them and their vehicle, the amount of the fine for violating this law has yet to be determined. In addition to this, if you fail to check for cyclists before opening your vehicle door and you do so in their path, you could be facing a fine of up to $365 and will receive 3 demerit points when convicted. However, it would prevent injuries to the cyclists if proper caution is maintained.
Whenever pedestrians are crossing streets at crosswalks or school zones, drivers must now ensure that they have completely crossed before proceeding. Furthermore, drivers who have outstanding fines may not be able to get a renewal sticker for their vehicle’s license plates. According to the Ministry of Transportation, 50% of all fatalities involving pedestrians occurred in crossovers at intersections. This is a high statistical figure which needs to be reduced for safer crossovers.
The “Move Over” Law
Whenever you see an emergency vehicle stopped with its blue and red lights flashing, you are required to decrease your speed and move over into the adjacent lane. This law also applies to tow trucks that have pulled over to assist a motorist and their amber lights are flashing. If you break this law, you will be fined $490 and get 3 demerit points.
If you have additional questions regarding the “Making Ontario’s Roads Safer Act”, most personal injury lawyers in Brantford, Cambridge, or Hamilton can assist you.