Some new traffic rules which started yesterday, aimed at enhancing the safety of all road users across Ontario, has sparked our latest poll question.
The Chatham-Kent Police Service has highlighted the most important changes:
FINES: Distracted Driving fines have increased to $300-$1000 along with three (3) demerit points. That’s up from the current fine of $225-$500 and no demerit points. Young and novice drivers convicted of any Graduated Licensing System violation—that now includes distracted driving—are subject to:
– Minimum 30-day licence suspension for a first offence
– 90-day licence suspension for a second conviction
– Third and subsequent instances can lead to the cancellation of their driver’s licence and removal from the Graduated Licensing System.
CYCLISTS: Fines have increased from $20 to $60-$500 for not using required lights and reflectors. Fines for drivers who ‘door’ a cyclist have increased to $300-$1000 and three demerit points. Drivers passing cyclists on the road will also have to keep at least one metres away, where practical. Cyclists are reminded that according to the Highway Traffic Act, they are considered a vehicle just like a car or truck. Cyclists must obey all traffic laws and ride as close to the right edge of the road whenever possible, especially if you’re slower than other traffic. Riding on a sidewalk is a municipal by-law offence.
TOW TRUCKS: Motorists must now slow down and move over when passing a tow truck with its lights flashing on the side of the road, similar to passing any emergency vehicle with their emergency lights activated.
Constable Michael Pearce of the CKPS Traffic Unit says, “These new laws and penalties are designed to discourage unsafe behaviour and encourage drivers and cyclists to share the road safely.”
For more information, please see http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/
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