Changes to driving rules in Ontario start today!

Distracted drivingToday marks the effective date of Bill 31, Transportation Statute Law Amendment Act (Making Ontario’s Roads Safer), 2015 and here is what you need to know so you can steer clear of traffic tickets:

Watch out for bicyclists: Before opening the door of your vehicle be sure to check for bicyclists to prevent “dooring” someone, sending them flying.  Opening a door suddenly and taking out a bicyclist could set you back $365.  It is now law to leave a minimum of 1 metre between your vehicle and a bicycle.

Light up those bikes: Not only have rules changed for motorists but also for bicyclists.  Thirty minutes after sunrise and prior to sunset all cyclists are required to use bike lights and reflectors or a hefty fine of $110 could be doled out plus two demerit points.  It is also important to note bicyclists are prohibited from operating their vehicle across any crosswalk; walk your bike.

Tow trucks = emergency vehicle: you already give space for stopped emergency vehicles like paramedics and police cars but now you must also display the same courtesy to stopped tow trucks or else you will be staring at a $490 fine.

Stop! And stay stopped: until the pedestrian is ALL the way across the street.  Start January 1, 2016, drivers must wait until a pedestrian has completely crossed all specially marked walking areas like a school crossing (not intersections).  Better start practicing now that school starts this week and next.

For the last time, put down your phone!!! Distracted driving is getting “out of hand”, mind the pun.  The fines have gone up to $490 plus three demerit points.  But if you do not yet have a G class license (G1, G2) a minimum 30-day suspension should deter you from texting while driving, but probably won’t.

Drug-impaired driving soon to be a bad thing: Next year around this time expect to see new penalties bringing drug-impaired driving to the equivalence of alcohol-impaired driving.

It’s a lot to take in all at once I’m sure, but you really should have been practicing most of these already.  It is mostly driving common sense but thanks to Bill 31 these dangerous habits will now have consequences.  For more information about driving safe and what implications safe driving can have on your insurance give us a call at Scrivens Insurance and Investment Solutions at 613-236-9101.  Drive safe!

Source: http://www.scrivens.ca/newsevents/steer-clear-of-traffic-tickets-new-ontario-rules-of-the-road

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