Ontario’s New Driving Regulations – Simplified

February 16, 2016

As of January 1st, 2016, the Ministry of Transportation amended a number of “Highway Traffic Act” regulations. The amendments apply to “crossovers” as opposed to “crosswalks”. The problem is that few people appear to know the difference between a crossover and a crosswalk. Here’s what you need to know.

What is a “crossover”?
A crossover is a pedestrian crossing where signs and in many cases overhead flashing yellow lights, alert drivers to come to a stop.

What is a “crosswalk”?
A crosswalk on the other hand is used at stop signs and traffic lights in Ontario. Crosswalks often have a white walking symbol and a flashing orange hand.

Drivers and cyclists must remain stopped at a pedestrian crossover or school crossing until the person crossing the street and the school crossing guard are off the roadway. The old law allowed drivers to proceed once the person crossing and the school crossing guard are no longer on the driver’s half of the roadway. The new law does not apply at crosswalks, unless a school crossing guard is present.

What is the penalty?
Under the new law, drivers and cyclists can be fined $150 to $500 and 3 demerit points for offences at pedestrian crossings and school crossings.

Why the changes?
The rule changes were made in response to recommendations related to pedestrian safety in the Chief Coroner’s Report on Pedestrian Deaths released in 2012 and to numerous requests from municipalities and safety organizations.

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