In what it said is an effort to ensure Ontario’s roads are safe for everyone, the provincial government announced it is cracking down on dangerous driving with stiffer penalties and even possible jail time.
“Time and time again we’ve seen families devastated because a loved one is hurt or killed by a dangerous driver, and the driver walks away with no more than a slap on the wrist,” said John Yakabuski, Minister of Transportation. “This new charge sends a clear message that dangerous driving won’t be tolerated.”
The government said that beginning September 1, drivers convicted of careless driving causing bodily harm or death will face:
- Fines from $2,000 to $50,000
- Six demerit points
- A driver’s licence suspension of up to five years
- Up to two years in jail
The province is also reminding drivers that they must yield the entire roadway at marked crosswalks, school crossings, and other locations where there is a crossing guard, and cannot continue driving until pedestrians have finished crossing the road completely.
The maximum penalty in these types of situations will increase to $1,000 and four demerit points.
“The number of pedestrians being injured and killed on our roads has reached a critical level,” said Yakabuski. “Tougher penalties help, but we need everyone to step up and do their part by driving safely and responsibly.”