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Ontario toughens road safety legislation

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In an effort to have some of the safest roads in North America, the Ontario government yesterday passed the Making Ontario's Roads Safer Act.

This new legislation aims to reduce the number of collisions, injuries, and fatalities on the roads of Ontario with a series of tougher measures including:

  • Drivers will need to wait until pedestrians have completely crossed the road before proceeding at school crossings and pedestrian crossovers;
  • Drivers who are drug impaired will receive the same sanctions as alcohol-impaired drivers;
  • Fines for distracted driving will increase from the current range of $60-$500 to a range of $300-$1,000, assigning three demerit points upon conviction. There will be escalating sanctions on convictions for novice drivers, too;
  • Repeat offenders of alcohol impaired driving will face additional sanctions;
  • Municipalities can collect unpaid fines by expanding licence plate denial for drivers who do not pay certain Provincial Offences Act fines.

These new measures build on the ones Ontario has already taken to improve road safety, such as the move-over law and stiffer penalties for aggressive driving and excess speeding.