On June 2, 2015, Ontario's new distracted driving law unanimously passed the third reading and will be signed into law soon. The bill increases current fines for drivers who are caught using handheld devices while driving (texting, talking, emailing, etc.) from $280 to as high as $1,000. In addition, drivers will receive 3 demerit points.
However, the bill also addresses other dangerous driving behaviours and individuals who are often victims of auto accidents, such as pedestrians and bicyclists.
The New Law Regarding Impaired Driving
Drivers impaired by drugs will face the same penalties as drivers impaired by alcohol. If caught, impaired drivers' licenses will be suspended between 3 to 90 days. Their vehicles could be impounded for 7 days. In addition, drivers must take driving education courses or get treatment. They may also be required to install an ignition interlock device designed to prevent them from driving while impaired.
The New Law Regarding Bicyclists
The new law also aims to make Ontario roads safer for bicyclists. Drivers who "door" cyclists will face an increased fine and demerit points. "Dooring" is when motorists open their doors into the paths of cyclists.
The law also requires all drivers to maintain a distance of one metre when passing bicyclists where practical.
The law also increases the fines for bicyclists who do not use a light and reflectors from $20 to between $60 and $500.
The New Law Regarding Pedestrians
Many drivers do not wait for pedestrians to completely cross the road before continuing on their way. Rather, they go as soon as pedestrians are not in front of their cars. The new law requires drivers to wait until pedestrians completely cross the road at school crossings and at crosswalks with pedestrian-operated crossing lights.
The Ontario Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca says that the new law is designed to make the roads safer for all motorists. "We call it sharing the road for a reason." Everyone has a responsibility, motorists and cyclists alike.
Help After Ontario Auto Accidents
If you were injured in a car or pedestrian accident, please call the car accident lawyers at Bergeron Clifford. The lawyers at Bergeron Clifford will explore all of your legal options to help you obtain the full and fair compensation to which you are entitled. Call to schedule a FREE consultation. 1-866-384-5886
More from our Kingston, Ottawa & Whitby Car Accident Legal Library
- Ontario Drunk Driving Accidents - A Kingston car accident lawyer discusses liable parties in Ontario impaired driving accidents.
*Source: www.cbc.ca (Distracted driving penalties increase under new Ontario law)