Ontario road safety bill targets distracted drivers, 'dooring'
The Liberal government on Monday tabled a sweeping road safety bill Monday dealing with pedestrians, cyclists, truckers and motorists, including increased fines of up to $1,000 and three demerit points for distract driving.
There are currently no demerit points for distracted driving in Ontario.
Distracted drivers on their cellphones and careless motorists who knock down cyclists with their open doors are facing maximum fines http://www.thestar.com/news/queenspark/2014/03/17/ontario_introduces_compre hensive_road_safety_bill.html of $1,000 and three demerit points, according to sweeping new road safety rules introduced Monday.
Among other things, motorists for the first time would be required to move over a lane for working tow trucks with lights flashing just as they are required now with emergency vehicles.
Transportation Minister Glen Murray introduced proposed "comprehensive" legislation Monday dealing with pedestrians, truckers, motorists and cyclists.
"Our new legislation, if passed, would keep drivers, cyclists and pedestrians even safer as we get tougher with those who ignore the law," Murray said, adding the changes have been years in the making.
Ralph Palumbo, vice-president Ontario, Insurance Bureau of Canada, said it is the demerit points that should make scofflaws think twice about picking up that cellphone or other electronic device knowing their insurance premiums could be affected.
"Demerit points will certainly cause an insurer to look at a driver as a greater risk because what it says is that they are not complying with a law," Palumbo told the Star.
In Ontario, according the government statistics distracted driving has passed impaired driving as the leading cause of traffic fatalities.
The push to toughen up distracted driving penalties follows an unexpected decision by Annemarie Bonkalo http://www.allthingsnow.com/day/news/shared/42523527/Distracted-driving-fin es-increase-to-280-on-March-18-Toronto-Star , chief justice of the Ontario Court of Justice, who unilaterally decided last month to use her judicial powers to increase the fine for using hand-held devices while driving to $280 from $155, effective March 18. That provision will remain in effect unless the new legislation is passed and changes it.
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