New Ontario Legislation Means Stiffer Penalties for Distracted Drivers

As of September 1st there’s a new set of driving laws in Ontario that you need to be aware of.  The “Making Ontario Roads Safer Act” was passed earlier this year and has just gone into effect.  There are some serious penalties involved so it’s important to understand what this new set of laws means for you.  Here are the five new laws now being enforced province-wide.

Higher Fines for Distracted Driving

Texting and driving penalties have been increased dramatically – from $60 to $490.  Not only that, those still with G1 or G2 licences could face immediate suspension.  Full G drivers could face demerit points as well if they’re caught looking at their phones, even while at red lights.  All this means you need to make sure that if you need to talk to someone while driving that you’re using a hands-free device.  Always.

Wait for Pedestrians

Any pedestrians crossing at crosswalks or school crossings must now completely reach the other side before a car can drive through or make a turn.

Watch for Bikes

We all know how dangerous a populated area can be for bike riders, a lot of whom get injured every year.  In an attempt to curb those injuries drivers are now required to leave at least one metre of room for cyclists.  In addition anyone who opens their doors without watching for cyclists passing will face fines ranging from $300 to $1000.

Give Emergency Vehicles Ample Room

The new law states that if you see an emergency vehicle at the side of the road you should slow down and move over, either to a new available lane or just in your own to give them as much room as possible.  This also counts for tow trucks and other ‘amber light’ vehicles as well as the red lights of police and fire.  If you disregard this you could end up with a $490 fine and three demerit points added to your record.

Impaired Driving now Fully Applies to Drugs – Even Legal Ones!

If you’re caught driving impaired under the influence of drugs, both the illegal kind and the legal prescription and over-the-counter pills that impair driving, you could face the same punishment as drinking and driving.  That means licence suspension of up to 90 days and vehicle impound lasting a week.

These new laws need to be obeyed in order to give everyone a better chance to avoid injury on the road.  If you’ve been injured in an auto accident, or perhaps on private property you may benefit from the help of an experienced personal injury lawyer.  Call Conte Associates at 1-877-614-0008. Based in Vaughan and Whitby, Conte & Associates works with clients in Whitby/Oshawa, and in the following cities in Ontario: Oshawa, Ajax, Pickering, Clarington, Newcastle, Courtice, Bowmanville, Newcastle, Port Perry, Belleville, and Peterborough.

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