There are many reasons that car accidents occur in Toronto and throughout the province of Ontario. To try to reduce the number of car crashes that happen in the province, earlier this summer the legislature passed new driving laws that affect the financial consequences for some illegal driving behaviours.
The first one pertains to passing tow trucks at the side of the road. When the tow trucks have their lights on, drivers will need to respond the same way they do when other rescue vehicles are present. They will need to slow down and move into the farthest lane. Along the same lines, when passing a cyclist, motorists need to stay at least one metre away.
In an effort to keep pedestrians safer, at pedestrian crosswalks and school crossings, motorists have to wait until those crossing are completely across the road. In addition, municipalities where low-speed and low-volume roads are present will be able to request new pedestrian crossings.
The changes to the laws will apply some of the same penalties and sanctions to drugged drivers as those drunk drivers face. Specifically the monitoring repeat offenders are subject to, the vehicle impoundments and licence suspensions will be the same.
Distracted drivers will find that the financial penalties they face will be higher. From the $60 to $500 people preciously paid, the amount will rise to between $300 and $1,000. In addition, while demerit points were not previously assessed, upon conviction, distracted drivers will receive three demerit points.
The new laws go into effect Sept. 1. In an effort to educate the public about them, the government is planning to publicise the changes.