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New Traffic Laws You May Not Know

New Ontario Traffic Laws
 
The Ministry of Transportation has recently passed a number of traffic laws in an effort to make the roads of Ontario a safer place.  There are likely a few laws that have recently been implemented that you aren’t fully aware of, so read ahead to get yourself familiar.
 
Pedestrian Crossovers
 
As of January 2016, drivers and cyclists must yield the entire pedestrian crossover, waiting until the individual crossing is safely on the sidewalk before proceeding.  Fines can range from $150-500 for failing to properly yield and can cost three demerit points. Fines can also double for failing to yield in community safety zones.
 
It’s important to note that this new rule only applies to pedestrian crossovers, and not pedestrian crosswalks. Pedestrian crossovers usually consist of specific signs, overhead lights and pavements markings. Pedestrian crosswalks are typically found at four way intersections with traffic and pedestrian signals.
 
While this law has been enforced in an effort to keep pedestrians safer, it’s important to note that it’s also the pedestrian’s responsibility to be aware of their surroundings. Try and make eye contact with drivers whenever possible and avoid crossing when the lights are amber or red.
 
Alcohol and Drugs
 
Drivers caught under the influence of drugs will now face the same penalty as individuals caught driving drunk. This penalty could be anywhere between a 3 and 90 day suspension of your license as well as a week-long impoundment of your vehicle.
 
Distracted Driving
 
To help combat the growing reliance of smartphones in our day-to-day lives, the Ministry of Transportation as recently increased the fines for distracted driving.
 
Fines are now set at $490 – up from $200 previously. Drivers will also receive three demerit points if caught. The penalty is even harsher for new drivers, as individuals with G2 licences or lower can have their permits suspended on the spot.
 
Distracted driving is usually associated with viewing any screen that is not directly associated with driving, such as looking at your cellphone, iPod, laptop or GPS system.
 
Watch Out for Cyclists
 
Drivers are now required to give cyclists at least one metre of room whenever possible, however, the fine for breaking this rule has to be set.
 
The fine is currently more firm for drivers who open the door of their vehicle into a cyclist’s lane without properly checking. Individuals who are caught will be given three demerit points and a fine between $300-1000.
 
Move Over for Emergency Vehicles
 
If you see an emergency vehicle stopped with its red and blue lights flashing, it’s now your responsibility to slow down and move into the next lane. This rule will also be applied to stopped tow trucks who have their amber lights flashing. Failure to comply could result in a fine of $490 and three demerit points.