Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Community Column by Don Butt (October 2015)

Town of Mono, ON (Don Butt) The subject for this month is the new changes to the Highway Traffic Act. Most of these are increases in the fines for various offenses. The new legislation is Bill 31 or the Making Ontario Roads Safer  Act.

Distracted driving -  For using cell phones while driving and other infractions, fines are now increased to $ 400 plus 3 demerit points on conviction. G1 and G2 drivers would face possible suspension as well. On pedestrian crossings, drivers must make sure pedestrians have finished crossing the road at crosswalks and school crossings before proceeding.

Passing Cyclists – Must allow one metre of clearance and drivers opening a car door into a cyclists path will now cost $365 plus 3 demerits.

Alcohol and drugs – anyone caught driving under the influence of drugs will be treated the same as drunk drivers plus 3 to 90 day license suspensions.

Move over law – now required to slow down and move over one lane or as far as possible when approaching emergency vehicles with their lights on. This now includes tow-trucks. While I cannot disagree with the new regulation on cyclists, I cannot help but mention that the cyclists I see nowadays do not follow the law. The Highway traffic Act specifies that bikes, motorized or not are required to follow the same rules as other vehicles. Only a very few do this. Smarten up guys and girls and motorists will pay more attention, I guarantee.

A little story to emphasize my point. A friend of mine, who happens to be a police officer, rides a bike often when off duty. When he went out the first time (and many subsequent
times I’m sure), he made a proper stop signal; and then signaled his intention to turn at an intersection. Suddenly, he noticed that everyone was watching him as if he had lost his mind. Point made, I think.

Safety  Tip – Remember that ABS gives you the option to steer , target vision to where you want to go. (this tip comes to you courtesy of 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

Road Watch
To report unsafe driving behaviour contact OPP Communications Centre:
*OPP (*677) on your Cell or
1-888-310-1122 on your Landline.
If you prefer a paper form, 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.

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; visit the Mono Community Policing website.