Tou­gher pe­nal­ties for bad dri­ving ha­bits

Tribune Express - - ACTUALITÉ • NEWS -

With chil­dren re­tur­ning to school now in Sep­tem­ber, the province brings in­to force a new sche­dule of pe­nal­ties for dri­vers with bad ha­bits.

As of Sept. 1, the fines get more ex­pen­sive for dis­trac­ted dri­ving, put­ting cy­clists at risk on the road, and ris­ky bu­si­ness in­vol­ving ei­ther school buses or tow trucks. It’s all part of a pro­vin­cial go­vern­ment cam­pai­gn against poor dri­ving prac­tices.

Dri­ving while dis­trac­ted by chat­ting on the cell­phone or doing other things that take at­ten­tion away from the traf­fic ahead will mean a man­da­to­ry fine now of $490 with th­ree de­me­rit points upon convic­tion. No­vice dri­vers caught in the act of dri­ving while dis­trac­ted will al­so have at least a 30day sus­pen­sion of their li­cence, de­pen­ding on the cir­cum­stances, with lon­ger sus­pen­sion per­iods for se­cond and third convic­tions while their no­vice li­cence per­iod is in ef­fect.

Some dri­vers amuse them­selves by pas­sing as close to cy­clists as they can get away with, a prac­tice known as «doo­ring» and that will cost them more if they are caught doing it by po­lice or re­por­ted by a cy­clist. « Doo­ring a cy­clist» al­so re­fers to a si­tua­tion where a cy­clist pas­sing by a par­ked ve­hicle runs in­to a door that was ope­ned wi­thout the ve­hicle oc­cu­pant first che­cking for any ha­zards. A new pro­vin­cial re­gu­la­tion re­quires at least one-metre dis­tance kept bet­ween a ve­hicle and a cy­clist du­ring a pas­sing ma­neu­ver or else the dri­ver is sub­ject to a $110 fine plus two de­me­rit points. The same pe­nal­ty may al­so ap­ply to a per­son in a par­ked car or truck who ends up «doo­ring a cy­clist» by ac­ci­dent.

Cy­clists are al­so res­pon­sible for ma­king sure they ei­ther stay wi­thin a de­si­gna­ted cy­cling lane or on the shoul­der of the road or high­way to al­low fas­ter ve­hicles ea­sier pas­sage past them. They are al­so re­qui­red to make sure their bikes have the pro­per wor­king lights and re­flec­tors or else face a $110 fine.

Dri­vers trying to pass a tow truck stop­ped along the roadside must leave a safe pas­sing dis­tance bet­ween their ve­hicle and the truck. Doing a fast and close swing around the tow truck is not al­lo­wed be­cause it creates a ris­ky si­tua­tion for the tow truck dri­ver and anyone in­vol­ved with the ve­hicle in dis­tress. Fai­lure to do a safe by­pass of a tow truck will mean a $490 fine.

The pro­vin­cial go­vern­ment is al­so li­mi­ting use of the co­lour school-bus yel­low. As of Sept. 1 on­ly ac­tual school buses used to trans­port stu­dents can be chrome yel­low in co­lour. No other buses in On­ta­rio can be chrome yel­low, which means school buses re­ti­red from ac­tive ser­vice and sold have to be re­pain­ted.

Dri­vers who put stu­dents at risk be­cause they ignore the traf­fic rules re­gar­ding school buses are fa­cing fines up to $2000 and six de­me­rit points for a first convic­tion. All mo­to­rists must stop for a school bus when its war­ning lights are fla­shing and the stop si­gn and bar are ex­ten­ded to si­gnal that stu­dents are ei­ther boar­ding or di­sem­bar­king.

Newspapers in French

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.