Ontario remains a road safety leader in Canada and North America, according to the most recent fatality rate statistics (2008). The Ministry of Transportation has introduced a range of measures to maintain this record and to improve the behaviour of all drivers.
Many collisions are caused by driver error or behaviours such as following too closely, speeding, failure to yield the right of way, improper turns, running red lights and frequently changing lanes. There are also drivers who intentionally put others at risk through such reckless behaviour. Statistics show that new drivers of all ages are far more likely than experienced drivers to be involved in serious or fatal collisions.
Provincial campaigns promoting the correct use of seatbelts and child car seats, and informing people about drinking and driving and aggressive driving, are making a difference. Ontario's Graduated Licensing System (GLS), which lets new drivers gain skills and experience in low-risk environments, is also helping to develop better, safer drivers. Despite the success of GLS, however, statistics show that new drivers of all ages are far more likely than experienced drivers to be involved in serious or fatal collisions.
This handbook gives new drivers the basic information they need about learning to drive in Ontario: the rules of the road, safe driving practices and how to get a licence to drive a car, van or small truck. The ministry recommends that all drivers would benefit from taking an advanced course in driver training.
As you read, remember that this handbook is only a guide. For official descriptions of the laws, look in the Highway Traffic Act of Ontario and its Regulations, available at www.e-laws.gov.on.ca. Information on how to get licences to drive other types of vehicles is available in Part Two of this handbook, the Official Motorcycle Handbook, the Official Truck Handbook, the Official Bus Handbook and the Official Air Brake Handbook.