A new bill is seeking to toughen penalties for drivers who injure or kill cyclists, pedestrians, and other vulnerable road users in Ontario.
Bill 158, Protecting Vulnerable Road Users Act, 2017, is a private member’s bill which was introduced by former MPP Cheri DiNovo. It is intended to penalize drivers who violate Highway Traffic Act rules around driving while using a cell phone, driving while unlicensed, driving while intoxicated, speeding, careless driving, disobeying signs or lights at intersections or pedestrian crossings, proper signalling, sharing the road with other users, safety near emergency vehicles, and opening car doors.
The bill requires drivers who are found guilty of Highway Traffic Act offenses to potentially face a mandatory probation order as well as license suspension. During the period of probation, drivers would be required to take a driving instruction course and perform community service related to public education on driving safety and improving driving safety. They would also be required to attend sentencing hearings in which they would listen to victim impact statements from victims and their family members. Under the bill, failure to comply with the probation order could result in a longer license suspension and a fine of up to $50,000.
Note: Singer Kwinter will be contributing a few posts to BikingToronto over the next month in honour of Brain Injury Awareness Month. This post originally appeared on Biking Toronto on May 28, 2018.