New Ontario Laws July 1 2018
Zero Tolerance Law
As you may already be aware, Ontario is making changes to the Highway Traffic Act and its regulations that were enacted under the Cannabis, Smoke-Free Ontario and Road Safety Statute Law Amendment Act, Schedule 4 and the Making Ontario’s Roads Safer Act. These amendments include a number of new measures to address the issues of impaired driving, distracted driving and vulnerable road user safety. Of particular note are the new zero tolerance measures for drivers of commercial vehicles.
Starting July 1, 2018, drivers of commercial vehicles must have a blood alcohol concentration of zero when driving a commercial vehicle. If a commercial driver has alcohol in their system, they will face serious penalties, including licence suspensions and administrative monetary penalties.
With the federal government’s intentions to legalize cannabis, zero tolerance drug sanctions will also be effective starting July 1, 2018. It is important to note that the zero tolerance drug sanctions will not be enforced until the Federal Minister of Justice approves and authorizes the use of an approved drug screening equipment.
Distracted Driving Law
Tougher penalties for distracted driving, including escalating fines, demerit points and licence suspensions. Demerit points will now escalate for a second offence from three to six demerit points.
Increased penalties for all drivers who fail to yield for pedestrians at crosswalks, crossovers and school crossings and escalating fines for all drivers who are convicted of multiple pedestrian-related offences within a five-year window. The fine range will increase from $150-$500 to $300-$1000 and four demerit points will now be applied instead of three. A new offence for careless driving causing death or bodily harm. Penalties can include up to a $50,000 fine, licence suspensions of up to five years, 6 demerit points and up to two years imprisonment.
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