Thursday, March 5, 2015

Community Column by Don Butt (March 2015)

Town of Mono, ON (Don Butt) Do we dare anticipate spring? I certainly hope so. In the meantime I want to add some extra info to the new legislation I reported on a month or two ago (known as the Making Ontario Roads safer act). The new legislation makes it safer for bikers as now drivers must maintain a distance of one metre when passing and increasing the max fines for not using required lights and reflectors on bicycles. Driving under the influence of drugs (illicit or prescription) will be treated seriously as a safety issue (similar to the use of alcohol).

Distracted driving is now the number one cause of fatal collisions in Ontario and as a result the new bill provides for higher fines for this serious infraction.

This is the time of the year when conditions can change a little. Black ice is more prevalent this time of year due to wider range of temperatures. Watch for it near water and on bridges and overpasses. Soon, if you drive gravel roads they may start to have frost boils and, later on, soft spots. These are sometimes worse than before because plows and salting keep the layer of snow off the roads. A layer of snow, even quite thin, helps to protect the road surface. Keep these things in mind and avoid trouble this spring.

I have mentioned this problem before but I think it will bear repeating. When driving, use your turn signals and use them properly! Turn signals are meant to indicate your intention so they should be applied at least ½ block or more before the turn. They are very little use to following drivers if you put them on as you turn or not at all.  When I started to drive we were still using hand signals and this was much harder to do. Hand signals must still be used on bicycles or a old motorcycle with no turn signals. As a matter of interest, police will be watching bikes more closely as the new legislation mentioned above called for enforcement of the laws on bikes (such as proper lights, reflectors, and horns as well as high visibility tape, etc.)

Safety Tip
Use hand over hand steering for best overall control. (This tip comes to you from Doug Annett and the Skid Control School at Oakville, ON

Phone Nos. (a list of valuable numbers to have)
For all emergencies – 911
To report non emergency incidents or bad drivers 1-800-310-1122
Or by cell phone only *677

Our forms for reporting dangerous and aggressive drivers are now attached to our website.If you prefer a paper form or do not have a computer, our forms are available at Mono Plaza and OPP at Primrose. Please use them, the life you may save could be your own or a loved one. Or use the cell number to call direct – *677.

Don Butt is currently the Public Relations and Media Contact for the Mono Community Policing Committee. If you would like more information on anything covered in Don’s Column or would like to see a topic of public interest or safety covered; post a comment below.