The best thing about Canada is Government’s ability to continuously review the rules and policies. Immigration policies, Visa rules, Garbage disposal changes, road rules etc, Government keep on updating these as per the changing needs of the system and to keep a check on defaulters. Recently Ontario enforces stiff fines to make roads safer.
Unlike Indian government, Canadian governments know how to enforce these changes as well.
In recent years, distracted driving has taken more lives than impaired driving. Also, number of accidents involving cyclists has increased in last few years. There were 26 cyclist death and 2300 injuries in year 2012. In North America, around 100 tow truck driver die every year because other drivers don’t give then enough space while they are working on the side of the road.
Several updates have been made to the Highway Traffic Act in an effort to make our roads safer for everyone. The following fines will take effect as of September 1, 2015.
DISTRACTED DRIVING CHANGES
- Fines: Minimum $490 to Maximum $1000
- Demerits Point: 3 points upon conviction
- Novice Driver (G1 & G2 License holder)
- First Conviction: 30 –day license suspension
- Second Conviction: 90- day license suspension
- Third Conviction: License Cancellation
CYCLIST SAFETY CHANGES
- To support cycling in urban areas, allowing contra-flow bicycle lanes will help provide more direct routes and connectivity for cyclists.
- The minimum fine for a “dooring” conviction will be $300 and 3 demerit points. “Dooring” occurs when a driver or passenger in a parked vehicle opens a door without first checking and, as a result, hits a cyclist.
- Drivers who fail to maintain the one-meter distance will face an $85 fine.
- For Cyclist- the fine for not using required bicycle lights and reflective material will be $85.
TOW TRUCKS SAFETY CHANGES
Motorists are required to slow down and move over when passing tow trucks with the amber lights flashing on the side of the road, just as they must when passing police and other first responders.
All Drivers must wait until pedestrians have completely crossed the road before proceeding at school crossings and pedestrian crosswalks.
Drugged driving is included in the law along with drunk driving. Drug-impaired drivers will face the same penalties and sanctions as drunk drivers in terms of roadside license suspensions of 3, 7, 30 and 90 days along with 7 day vehicle impoundments and monitoring for repeat offenders.
SAFETY TIPS FOR DRIVERS
- Allow phone calls to go to voicemail. Stop at a safe location to make or receive calls.
- Don’t text, read emails or surf the web – not even when you’re waiting at a red light or a stop sign.
- Avoid eating, drinking or smoking.
- Don’t groom or put on makeup while looking in the rear-view mirror.
- Check your mirror for approaching cyclists before changing lanes or opening your door.
- Slow down and, if possible, change lanes when driving by emergency vehicles and tow trucks stopped at the side of the road with their lights flashing.
Happy Driving !