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Cracking Down on Distracted and Careless Driving

New legislation in Ontario calls for tougher penalties for distracted and careless driving.

The Province of Ontario has announced some new measures aimed to crack down on careless and distracted driving. 

Minister of Transportation Steven Del Duca announced the proposed rule changes today in Toronto. 

If passed this new legislation would include a new offence for careless driving causing death or bodily harm with penalties that include fines, licence suspension and imprisonment. 

The legislation also calls for tougher penalties for distracted driving, including higher fines, license suspension and more demerit points.

It would also see increased penalties for drivers who fail to yield for pedestrians and escalating fines for drivers who are convicted of multiple pedestrian-related offences within a five-year window and expanding the use of rear flashing blue lights for enforcement and emergency vehicles. The Province is also looking at using cameras on school busses to capture people who illegally pass them. 

On average, one person is killed on Ontario’s roads every 17 hours. In 2014, pedestrians and cyclists made up approximately 25 per cent of Ontario’s road fatalities. While drunk driving remains in the top-five killers on Ontario’s roads, the province’s most recent roadside survey found that drivers who tested positive for drugs were more than twice the number who tested positive for alcohol.

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