New Driving Laws & How They Affect You

Drivers-hands-on-steering-wheel

Recently, Ontario implemented 5 new laws in a bid to make the roads a safer place for drivers and pedestrians. Often with the passing of new laws, there can be a period of adjustment, particularly with things that were perfectly legal before. With most hving come into effect earlier this month on September 1st, it’s important to be well aware of these changes and have a real understanding of how it might affect your personal comfort. Knowing the rules will let you know if any of your job duties conflict with adhering to them; such as a job driving that may require you to check in periodically while driving, so you can find a solution with your boss and complete your required tasks in a safe manner. Here is a quick rundown of the new or amended laws and what they mean for you.

  • Distracted Driving: Texting on your phones or talking without a hands-free headset will still land you in hot water, but the consequences will be a bit steeper. Where the previous fine was $200 for drivers caught using their devices, you can now expect to pay up $490 for the offence.
  • Alcohol & Drugs: The penalty for being under the influence of drugs will not be the same as driver’s found to be under the influence of alcohol, including license suspensions of anywhere between 3 and 90 days, and week-long vehicle impoundment.
  • Move Over: Drivers must now slow down and move to the next lane when they see any type of emergency vehicle up ahead with flashing blue or red lights, also applying to tow trucks with flashing amber lights. The fine for non-compliance is $490 and the loss of 3 demerit points.
  • Passing Cyclists: Drivers will need to give passing cyclists a metre of space at all times, but a punishment has not been set for driver’s who do not adhere to this rule. Drivers who open doors into the path of a cyclist will face a fine of $365 as well as lose 3 demerit points once convicted. It’s important to check for cyclists beforehand, particularly in areas that are popular for them.
  • Pedestrian Crossing: It will be mandatory for all drivers to wait until a crossing pedestrian has completely crossed the road before proceeding, as about half of fatalities involving pedestrians occur at intersections. This law will go into affect on January 1st 2016.

It’s always imperative for you to familiarize yourself with laws that affect your day-to-day life, especially ones meant to keep you safe & sound. Keep yourself updated on any changes and updates so you can avoid further complications down the line, as having a good handle on this information will be a great help if you are injured on the job or by another person.

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