Ontario boosting penalties for careless and distracted drivers

Paola Ditto
Settembre 20, 2017

The province announced plans on Wednesday to introduce tough new rules and penalties this fall aimed at protecting pedestrians and cyclists, while reducing the number of people killed or injured by unsafe drivers.

Being called some of the strictest legislation in the country when it comes to protecting cyclists and pedestrians, the new penalties, advocates say, are long overdue.

"Ontario is taking action to reduce the number of people killed by impaired, distracted and risky drivers", Transportation Minister Stephen Del Duca said in a statement Wednesday. The amendments will impose much stiffer penalties on drivers who put riders and other "vulnerable road users" in harm's way. It would lead to a licence suspension of up to five years, fines of between $2,000 and $50,000, up to two years of jail time and six demerit points.

In 2014, pedestrians and cyclists made up about 25 per cent of road fatalities in the province. "That's someone's sister or dad or daughter, gone forever". Offenders would also see their licence suspended for three days on a first offence, seven days after two convictions, and 30 days for third and further convictions. "These measures will help keep some of our most vulnerable road users safe and help us drive home the message that unsafe, impaired and distracted driving is unacceptable, and will not be tolerated".

Higher fines and license suspensions are coming for careless and distracted drivers who hurt or kill people.

Fines for drivers who don't yield to pedestrians would be doubled, from a current maximum of $500 up to $1,000.

Commercial drivers would be required to maintain a zero level of alcohol or drugs in their blood while on the road or face fines and licence suspension.

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