Published on August 10th, 2015 | by Elliott Silverstein
Prepare for Changes to Ontario’s Road Rules With CAA’s Heads Up!
Over the past year we’ve shared a number of updates regarding upcoming changes to Ontario’s Highway Traffic Act, namely around expanded penalties for distracted driving, adding tow trucks to the existing Slow Down Move Over legislation, and new safety measures for cycling.
All three of these issues were key subjects in Bill 31, also known as the Making Ontario’s Roads Safer Act which passed in June 2015. CAA has long advocated for many items within the bill, namely stronger penalties for distracted driving and for the added protection of tow trucks drivers while working on Ontario’s roads. We are pleased that these changes are slated to come into effect on Tuesday, September 1, 2015.
Earlier this summer, CAA launched a campaign to help educate its members, and all road users, entitled Heads Up! The goal of the campaign is to raise awareness and educate drivers about new laws and regulations following the passing of the Making Ontario’s Roads Safer Act. The website provides safety tips and details about the changes in legislation. A series of radio and transit advertisements also highlight the new rules.
CAA officially launched Heads Up! at an event on July 27, where we were joined by representatives from the Ontario Provincial Police, Toronto Police Service, and York Regional Police, along with Ontario’s Minister of Transportation, the Hon. Steven Del Duca.
The theme of the day was increasing safety for all road users regardless of your mode of transportation. With changes slated to begin taking effect next month, preparing Ontarians with information about the significant changes distracted driving, cycling safety tow truck operators providing service on Ontario’s roads, was vital. Collectively, these changes will help provide a safer road network regardless of what mode of transportation you choose.
Below is a brief overview of what Ontarians can expect on September 1, 2015. For further information about the CAA Heads Up! campaign, visit headsupontario.ca.
Distracted driving fines will increase to $490, along with three demerit points if convicted. Novice drivers under the province’s graduated licensing system will also face an immediate 30-day suspension on their first offense.
Slow Down, Move Over
Ontario joins five other Canadian provinces and nearly every American state that requires motorists to slow down, move over upon approaching tow trucks assisting other vehicles on the side of the road with their amber lights flashing. The fine per infraction has been set at $490.
Changes to cycling legislation will see the fine for a “dooring” conviction increase to $300, along with three demerit points. A new requirement for drivers is to keep a distance of one metre when passing cyclists, where practicable. Also, cyclists without a bike light or reflective matieral will now face an $85 fine under the new regulations.
© 2017 CAA South Central Ontario
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