Ontario has been aiming to toughen its traffic laws since early January and is working towards just that. The bill has passed its third reading and will soon be made law. What are the new changes? What do you need to know? Below are the major points of the traffic act that will impact you.
1. Texting while driving fines have been raised to $1000 and three demerit points
2. Cyclists require proper reflectors and bicycle lights when on the road. Fines can go up to $500. The new bill will also allow flashing red lights on bicycles.
3. All drivers must maintain a one-metre distance when passing cyclists – at all times.
4. Cyclists can now cycle on paved shoulders of provincial highways.
5. The province will be matching other provinces in their penalties for driving stoned. Individuals who choose to drive while under the influence of drugs will face the same penalties as they would for drinking and driving. There will also be more licence suspensions and mandatory addiction counselling.
6. Dooring a cyclist and knocking them off their bike can result in a $1000 fine and three demerit points.
7. Only buses can be painted “chrome yellow”. Hope you weren’t planning the colour of your car to chrome yellow.
8. Tow truck drivers will now be given the same respect as ambulances on the road. Drivers will be required to slow down and provide a full lane to tow trucks when possible.
9. Do you allow pedestrians to completely cross the crosswalk before proceeding with your drive? Now you’ll have to. The new law would require drivers to wait until the crosswalk is empty; failing to do so will result in penalties.
10. Finally, it is also illegal to tow a skateboard behind a vehicle. Makes sense.
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