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TORONTO – Ontario transportation officials are reminding motorists to be aware of new provincial road rules coming into effect this fall.
CAA South Central Ontario (CAA SCO) has launched its Heads Up! campaign to remind drivers of changes to the province’s Highway Traffic Act.
Fines for distracted drivers will increase from the old range of $60 to $500 to between $300 to $1,000, plus three demerit points.
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Fines for opening a door into the path of a cyclist will increase to the same amounts as for distracted driving, and motorists must leave a one-metre distance when passing bicycles.
Fines will increase from $20 to between $60 and $500 for bicyclists who do not use a light and reflectors or reflective material.
“Public education is key to tackling persistent, unsafe driver behaviour and I look forward to continuing to raise awareness with the CAA, police and our other valuable road safety partners,” said Steven Del Duca, Minister of Transportation in a media release.
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The bill also requires that drivers wait until pedestrians completely cross the road at school crossings and at crosswalks with pedestrian-operated crossing lights.
Slow Down, Move Over legislation now includes tow trucks stopped at the side of the highway with their amber lights flashing.
The fine for drivers who don’t slow down or move over is between $400 to $2000 and the penalty is 3 demerit points.
Ontario Provincial Police have laid 763 charges so far this year under its move over law.
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The law, established in 2003, requires drivers to slow down and proceed with caution when approaching an emergency vehicle parked on the side of the highway with its lights on.
If the highway has more than one lane, the law requires the driver to move over and leave one lane between their vehicle and the parked emergency vehicle when that can be done safely.
“Everyone deserves a safe place to work. Extending slow down, move over protection, an effort that CAA has been advocating for since 2010, will improve safety for both tow truck operators and motorists who are stranded,” Teresa Di Felice, Director of Government and Community Relations and Driver Training, CAA SCO.
With a file from The Canadian Press