New road penalties related to distracted driving, cycling and road side safety for tow trucks
The North Bay Police Service joins the Ministry of Transportation and other police services across Ontario in reminding motorists that effective today, September 1st 2015, stiffer penalties apply to distracted driving. There are also new rules in place to make our roads safer for cyclists and tow truck drivers.
It is illegal to talk, text, dial or email using hand-held phones and other hand-held communication and entertainment devices, while driving. Anyone who puts others at risk by driving while distracted, for whatever reason, can still be charged with Careless or Dangerous Driving.
For G and M drivers, the fine is $490 (includes victim fine surcharge and court fees) up to a maximum of $1000 (for summons, plus fees) + three demerit points, upon conviction.
For novice drivers (with G1, G2, M1 and M2 licences) who drive distracted:
- The fine is $490 (includes victim fine surcharge and court fees) up to a maximum of $1000 (for summons, plus fees).
- Minimum 30-day licence suspension for a first offence, upon conviction
- 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 are not be subject to demerit points.
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. The fine is $365 (includes victim fine surcharge and court fees) up to a maximum of $1000 (plus fees, if summoned) + three demerit points, upon conviction.
Drivers must keep a one-metre (three-foot) distance when passing cyclists. The fine is $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). The fine for improper bicycle lighting or improper lighting is $110(includes victim fine surcharge and court fees.)
“Slow down, move over” law now includes 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 includes police, fire, ambulance and now tow trucks.
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) + three demerit points, upon conviction.