Changing the Rules of the Road
McGuinty Government’s Road Safety Legislation Passes Third Reading
The Ontario legislature has passed the Road Safety Act, 2009 to make the province's roads safer for all drivers. The new legislation will better protect young drivers, increase penalties for drinking and suspended drivers and gives police better enforcement tools.
The new rules include:
- Requiring a zero blood alcohol concentration level for all drivers 21 years of age and younger
- Higher fines for serious Highway Traffic Act offences, such as running a red light, failing to stop for an emergency vehicle and failing to remain at the scene of a collision.
- Immediate, seven-day impoundment of vehicles driven by drunk or suspended drivers. Those who continue to drive without an ignition interlock when one is required would also be subject to an immediate seven-day vehicle impoundment.
- A proposal to increase the length of time that new drivers spend in the Graduated Licensing System to get a driver's licence, up to 36 months.
Since the time of the bill's introduction, a proposed regulatory change to the Graduated Licensing System that would have placed tighter restrictions on the number of passengers that teen drivers can carry has been removed.Many of the measures included in the Road Safety Act, 2009, will come into effect by summer 2010.
- Approximately three-quarters of suspended drivers continue to drive illegally in Ontario.
- Each year, approximately one quarter of all fatal collisions are alcohol-related.
- Statistics show that teen drivers are more likely to be in a collision than drivers in any other age group. In 2005, motor vehicle collisions were the leading cause of hospital admissions among youth aged 15 to 24.