Starting Jan. 1, 2016, drivers and bicyclists must stop and yield the whole road way at pedestrian crosswalks and school crossings where a crossing guard is holding a stop sign.
As part of the Making Ontarios Roads Safer Act, these new regulations pertain to pedestrian crossings identified with specific signs, road markers and lights. However, the new rules do not apply to pedestrian crosswalks at intersections with traffic signals or stop signs, unless a crossing guard is present.
This means that at the specific crosswalks, drivers and cyclists may only proceed when pedestrians and school crossing guards are safely on the sidewalk.
The change was made in order to make roads safer for children, pedestrians and school crossing guards as these individuals are the most vulnerable to pedestrian accidents. The law is actually a response to recommendations and requests from municipalities and safety organizations.
Drivers who fail to adhere to this new standard will be fined between $150 and $500 and receive three demerit points. Fines will be doubled in Community Safety Zones, which are typically marked near schools and public areas.
Drivers are encouraged to always look for pedestrians, especially when turning. Also, watch for Community Safety Zone signs as they indicate areas where there is greater pedestrian traffic. Also, be patient with seniors, pedestrians with disabilities or children who may need to more time to cross.
The most recent Ontario Road Safety Annual Reports indicate that about 19 percent of all road fatalities in 2013 involved pedestrians. Between 2011 and 2012, the number of pedestrian fatalities increased by more than 15 percent.
At Greg Monforton & Partners, we have seen how pedestrian accidents impact both victims and their families. We urge drivers to adhere to these new road rules and always be mindful of pedestrians crossing the road.
If you or someone you love is ever injured in a pedestrian crash, contact our team of lawyers. With a strong track record for success, we can help you obtain the compensation you deserve.