Effective Sept. 1, 2015, rules of the road are changing for:
It is illegal to talk, text, dial or e-mail using hand-held phones and other hand-held communication and entertainment devices, while driving.
New measures to discourage drivers from texting and driving include:
Changes directed at fully- licenced drivers (G, M)
- Higher set fine of $490 (includes victim fine surcharge and court fees); drivers who receive a summons or who contest their ticket by going to court may face a fine of up to $1,000.
- Three (3) demerit points, upon conviction.
Changes directed at young and novice drivers (G1, G2, M1, M2)
- Young and novice drivers convicted of any Graduated Licensing System violation—that now includes distracted driving—are subject to:
- Minimum 30-day licence suspension for a first offence
- 90-day licence suspension for a second conviction
- Third and subsequent instances can lead to the cancellation of their driver’s licence and removal from the Graduated Licensing System.
- Novice drivers will not be subject to demerit points.
Anyone who puts others at risk by driving while distracted, for whatever reason, can still be charged with Careless or Dangerous Driving.
The safety of all road users is paramount and that includes cyclists. These cycling changes are directed at encouraging cycling, promoting road safety, and sharing the road.
New measures to better protect cyclists include:
Changes directed at drivers:
- “Dooring” or a “door prize” commonly refers to someone who opens a parked motor vehicle door into the path of a cyclist or other traffic.
- Higher set fine of $365 (includes victim fine surcharge and court fees) + three (3) demerit points; drivers who choose to contest the charge could be subject to a fine up to $1,000 + three demerit points, upon conviction.
- Drivers must keep a one-metre (3 feet) distance when passing cyclists.
- Set fine of $110 (includes victim fine surcharge and court fees)
Changes directed at cyclists:
- Cyclists must have proper lights, reflective materials and reflectors on their bicycles (and that includes e-bikes) and motor-assisted bicycle (mopeds). HTA s62(17) says:
When on a highway at any time from one-half hour before sunset to one-half hour after sunrise and at any other time when, due to insufficient light or unfavourable atmospheric conditions, persons and vehicles on the highway are not clearly discernible at a distance of 150 metres or less, every motor-assisted bicycle and bicycle (other than a unicycle) shall carry a lighted lamp displaying a white or amber light on its front and a lighted lamp displaying a red light or a reflector on its rear, and in addition white reflective material shall be placed on its front forks, and red reflective material covering a surface of not less than 250 millimetres in length and 25 millimetres in width shall be placed on its rear.
- Set fine for improper bicycle lighting or improper lighting is $110 (includes victim fine surcharge and court fees.)
Slow Down, Move Over Law to include Tow Trucks
It is important to protect the safety of those who are assisting others at roadside, often in dangerous roadside conditions. The “slow down and move over” law has been extended to include tow truck operators who are stopped on the roadside with their amber lights flashing. This law already includes our emergency care workers—police, firefighters, ambulance attendants.
New measures to better protect roadside workers include:
- Motorists must slow down and, where possible, move over into another lane when a tow truck is stopped on roadside with its amber lights flashing.
- This law also applies to motorists to slow down and, where possible, move over when approaching a stopped emergency vehicle with its red, or red and blue emergency lights flashing.
- The set fine is $490 (includes victim fine surcharge and court fees).