Ontario introduces stronger laws to protect pedestrians

At long last, the province has acted on recommendations in the 2012 Chief Coroner’s Report on Pedestrian Deaths, which analysed the 95 accidental pedestrian deaths that occurred in Ontario in 2010.

As of January 1st, a new law requires cars (and cyclists) to come to a complete stop and yield the entire crossover to pedestrians in the crossover until the pedestrian is completely off the roadway. The law also applies to cars approaching school crossings where there is a crossing guard holding a stop sign. In that case, drivers and cyclists must stop and wait until the pedestrians and crossing guards are completely off the roadway before proceeding.

Crossovers are different from crosswalks; they have overhead lights and push buttons. This new law does not apply to regular crosswalks unless a crossing guard is present.

Drivers found breaking this law can be fined between $150 and $500 and subject to 3 demerits. Fines can be doubled in Community Safety Zones.

The 2012 report found that January was the peak month for pedestrian collisions — stay safe out there.