THUNDER BAY, ON - December 10, 2009 - Ontario is cracking down on some of the most persistent, dangerous driving behaviors.
Effective January 1, 2010, penalties for the following offences will increase:
failure to stop at a red light - the maximum fine will increase from $500 to $1,000
failure to wear a seat belt and failure to ensure passengers under 16 are properly secured - the maximum fine will increase from $500 to $1,000
careless driving and failure to remain at the scene of a collision - the maximum fine will increase from $1,000 to $2,000. Other existing maximum penalties for these offences will remain, including a two-year licence suspension and six-month jail term.
Penalties for drivers who do not pull over and stop for emergency vehicles or who follow fire vehicles too closely will undergo the greatest change:
first offence: a maximum fine of $2,000, three demerit points plus a possible two-year licence suspension -- up from the current maximum penalty of a $500 fine.
subsequent offences (within five years): a maximum fine of $4,000 fine, three demerit points, a two-year driver's licence suspension and a six-month prison sentence - up from the current maximum penalty of a $500 fine.
"Ontario's roads are the safest in all North America - and these tougher penalties for unsafe driving practices will help keep motorists safe."
– Jim Bradley
Minister of Transportation
"Higher fines for convictions will be another effective tool to help make Ontario roads safer... especially if it gets the attention of irresponsible and reckless drivers."
– Julian Fantino
Ontario Provincial Police Commissioner
It is illegal to follow a fire department vehicle within 150 metres in any lane. Drivers must move out of the way when an emergency vehicle is approaching from either direction.
Approximately one quarter of all drivers and passengers killed in motor vehicle collisions are not wearing a seatbelt.
Out of approximately 380,000 drivers involved in collisions in 2006, about one in 17 failed to remain at the scene of a collision.
Running a red light is the cause of about 25 per cent of fatal collisions at municipal intersections with traffic signals.
In general, traffic offences fines go to municipalities.
Read more about road safety.
Find out how to properly install and use a child safety seat.