Keeping Ontario's Roads Safe Act

Backgrounder

Keeping Ontario's Roads Safe Act

Ministry of Transportation

Proposed legislative and supporting regulatory amendments to the Highway Traffic Act include:

Distracted Driving

To reduce collisions, injuries and fatalities as a result of distracted driving, proposed amendments include:

  • Increasing the fine range from $60 - $500 to $300 - $1,000
  • Assigning three demerit points upon conviction of a distracted driving offence
  • Making a distracted driving conviction a contravention of one of the licence conditions placed on novice drivers within the Graduated Licensing System


Pedestrian and Cyclist Safety

Currently at school crossings and pedestrian crossovers, drivers must yield only half of the roadway to pedestrians who are crossing. If passed, the proposed legislation would improve pedestrian safety by:

  • Requiring drivers to yield the whole roadway to pedestrians at school crossings and pedestrian crossovers
  • Amending the Highway Traffic Act to allow for new pedestrian crossing devices on low-speed and low-volume roads as requested by municipalities

The proposed legislation would respond to municipal requests, stakeholder input and recommendations from the Office of the Chief Coroner for Ontario to promote cycling as active transportation and improve cyclist safety by:

  • Allowing cyclists to use the paved shoulders on unrestricted provincial highways to promote safer opportunities to cycle
  • Supporting cycling in urban areas by allowing municipalities to create contra-flow bicycle lanes to provide more direct routes and connectivity for cyclists
  • Increasing the fine range for convictions of dooring of cyclists from $60 - $500 to $300 - $1,000 and raising the demerit points from two to three
  • Requiring all drivers to maintain a distance of one metre when passing cyclists
  • Increasing the maximum fine from $20 to a set fine amount that falls in the range of $60 - $500 for not using required bicycle lights and other reflectors/reflective material; and permit the use of flashing red lights as a safety feature on bicycles


Alcohol Impaired Driving

Proposed amendments would introduce additional measures to address alcohol impaired driving, including:  

  • Requiring all drivers who repeatedly drive with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) exceeding any of the thresholds in the Highway Traffic Act to complete an alcohol education program followed by an alcohol treatment and monitoring program
  • Extending the current Reduced Suspension with Ignition Interlock Conduct Review Program to repeat offenders

Medically Unfit Drivers & Services for Drivers with Medical Conditions

Amendments to the Highway Traffic Act are proposed in response to requests from the medical community to better identify medical conditions that may result in road safety incidents.  If passed, the proposed legislation will enable future regulations to:

  • Clarify what medical conditions must be reported and allow additional medical professionals to report drivers with medical conditions that may make them unsafe drivers
  • Improve customer service by allowing drivers with medical suspensions to retain their driver's licence card for identification purposes and for when they are eligible to drive again 


Truck, Vehicle and Bus Safety

Proposed legislation, if passed, would allow B-train double trailer combinations to be extended from 25 metres to 27.5 metres to accommodate new technologies required to meet air quality and greenhouse gas emissions standards and include more comfortable sleep berths for drivers.

In addition, the legislation proposes to expand the current 'Slow Down, Move Over' requirement for motorists beyond only emergency vehicles with red or red and blue flashing lights to include tow trucks that are stopped and responding to roadside accidents and emergencies while their amber flashing lights are activated.   

If passed, the proposed legislation would allow the Motor Vehicle Inspection Station Program to move to a contractual model and enable the procurement of a third-party contract administrator.

To address ambiguous wording, the proposed legislation would also require that only school buses can be painted chrome yellow.

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