New Ontario driving laws and penalties
With portions of the new Act in effect September 1, drivers can expect:
Increased fines for distracted driving. The penalty for distracted driving is now a minimum $490 (which includes the set fine as well as the Victim Fine Surcharge and court costs) and three demerit points. Novice drivers will be looking at a licence suspension upon conviction: 30 days for the first conviction, 90 days for the second, and a licence cancellation for the third.
Increased fines for "dooring" a cyclist. Fines start at $365 and will come with three demerit points. Additionally, where possible, drivers are expected to maintain a distance of at least one metre (about three feet) when passing cyclists. The fine for this infraction is $110 and two demerit points, unless it happened in a community safety zone. In community safety zones the fine is higher, $180 and two demerit points.
To `slow down and move over` for tow trucks too. When passing stopped police, ambulance or fire trucks with flashing lights, drivers are required to slow down and move over to an adjacent lane if possible. This has been a rule of the road for some time. Come September 1, if you see a tow truck with their amber lights flashing you`ll be expected to do the same. Fines for failing to move over when it`s feasible to do so will start at $490.
More new laws and penalties coming down the road
Some of the changes introduced in the Act will come into effect in 2016. These changes include: