Happy New Year to all of the readers of the Toronto Injury Lawyer Blog! We hope that the upcoming new year brings you health, happiness and prosperity. We also want to thank all of our readers for their excellent comments, likes and shares. 2015 was a banner year for Goldfinger Personal Injury Law and the Toronto Injury Lawyer Blog and we hope to build upon that success in 2016.
What’s new for 2016? Well, Ontario has a set of laws which have just kicked in pursuant to the aptly named “Making Ontario’s Roads Safer Act“. As an aside, Ontario along with other jurisdictions have a tendency of giving grandiose names to acts which make the public think that they are not only AMAZING, but also do what they say they do. The reality is that within these incredibly named acts, there are sometimes provisions which have little or nothing to do with the name of the Act as well. Sometimes, it’s a way for legislature to pass laws under the rug, without the public or media catching on. We often see this with car insurance and the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule and the Insurance Act.
In any event, the Making Ontario’s Roads Safer Act is a fantastic name for a set of laws. Whether or not it will do what it purports to do is still up in the air.
Here’s what you need to know:
There are increased fines for violations at crosswalks, school crossings, and pedestrian crossings. Those fines are DOUBLED in Community Safety zones. Drivers will be fined $150-$500 along with 3 demerit points for such offences.
Staring January 1, 2016, drivers and CYCLISTS must STOP and yield the entire road to pedestrians at pedestrian crossovers, and at school crossings where there is a crossing guard displaying a school crossing stop sign. These pedestrian crossovers are identified with specific signs, road markings and lights. The new rules do NOT apply to pedestrian crosswalks at intersections with stop signs or traffic signals, unless a school guard is present.
The Making Ontario’s Roads Safer Act also gives municipalities the power to install new types of pedestrian crossings on low speed, low volume roads in addition to existing crossovers (think more speed bump crossings in a sub-division).
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