The Ontario Roads Safer Act in now in effect in Ontario. As of today, September 1st, the fines and penalties have increased for distracted driving, dooring, failing to share the road, failing to obey the “move over” law and failure to have proper brake lights.
Distracted driving remains a real problem on our roads. To date this year, 41 deaths have been attributed to distracted driving. The fines for distracted driving have increased from the old range of $60 to $500 to between $300 to $1,000. The offence will also cost three demerit points upon conviction.
Dooring is the opening of a car door suddenly, causing a cyclist or another vehicle to run into it. The fines and penalties for this will now be the same as for distracted driving ( $300 to $1000, 3 demerit points ).
Sharing the Road.
Drivers must also leave a one metre distance between themselves and bicycles where possible. The fine will be $110 and two demerit points. Also, drivers must wait until pedestrians have completely crossed the road at school crossings and at cross walks with pedestrian-operated crossing lights. The fines for this range from $150 to $500.
The “Move Over” Law
The “move over” law has now been extended to include tow trucks. Previously drivers had to slow down and move into another lane when passing a stopped emergency vehicle with red or red/blue lights flashing. Drivers will now also have to slow down and move over for tow-trucks stopped at the side of the road with their amber lights flashing. The fine for this is $490.
The law also focuses on cyclists having proper lights on their bikes. At nighttime, dusk and dawn, bicycles are now required to have a white or amber light on the front, and a red light or reflector on the rear, along with other appropriate reflective materials. The fine for failure to obey this has been increased from the previous $20 fee to a set fine of $110.