On June 2nd, Ontario passed the Making Ontario’s Roads Safer Act to help ensure that the province’s roads are among the safest in North America.
The reasons were as follows:
- If current collision trends continue, fatalities from distracted driving may exceed those from drinking and driving by 2016.
- According to recent statistics, over 45 per cent of drivers killed in Ontario were found to have drugs or a combination of drugs and alcohol in their system.
- Pedestrians represent about one in five motor vehicle-related fatalities on Ontario roads — 46 per cent of which occurred at intersections
In order to reduce collisions, injuries and fatalities on Ontario’s roads, the new act will:
- Increase fines for distracted driving from the current range of $60 to $500 to a range of $300 to $1,000, assigning three demerit points upon conviction, and escalating sanctions on convictions for novice drivers
- Apply current alcohol-impaired sanctions to drivers who are drug impaired
- Introduce additional measures to address repeat offenders of alcohol impaired driving
- Require drivers to wait until pedestrians have completely crossed the road before proceeding at school crossings and pedestrian crossovers
- Increase fines and demerits for drivers who ‘door’ cyclists, and require all drivers to maintain a minimum distance of one-metre when passing cyclists where possible
- Help municipalities collect unpaid fines by expanding licence plate denial for drivers who do not pay certain Provincial Offences Act fines.
- Allow a broader range of qualified medical professionals to identify and report medically unfit drivers and, clarify the types of medical conditions to be reported.