on February 18, 2016 by test_editor in Archive_2016, February, Print Articles, Comments Off on February 18, 2016: Cst. Neilly’s Neighbourhood; New traffic rules take effect.

February 18, 2016: Cst. Neilly’s Neighbourhood; New traffic rules take effect.

February 18, 2016: Cst. Neilly’s Neighbourhood;
New traffic rules take effect.

By Cst. Dawn Neilly.

It’s no secret that Ontario’s Ministry of Transportation is getting tougher on drivers. With more cars on the road, ever faster vehicles and distractions galore, maintaining road safety has never been so important.

New rules affecting pedestrian crossings took effect on January 1 of this year. Drivers – you, too, cyclists! – must stop and yield the whole roadway at pedestrian crossovers and school crossings where there is a crossing guard displaying a school crossing stop sign.

It’s important to note that crossovers are not crosswalks. Crossovers, identified with specific signs, road markings and lights, may appear at any point along the road, while crosswalks are found at intersections with stop signs or traffic signals. The exception at crosswalks is the presence of a school crossing guard, which means drivers must stop until the roadway is clear of pedestrians.

The new rules are aimed primarily at drivers, but pedestrians don’t get a free ride. You, too, have a responsibility to be aware of road safety measures. For example, cross only at indicated points, make sure you’re visible to drivers, and don’t get so engrossed in your device that you forget to keep an eye on the traffic around you.

Drivers, though, have their hands on the wheel of a deadly weapon, and so bear a greater responsibility. Thus, drivers will now be fined $150 to $500 and 3 demerit points for offences at pedestrian crossings, school crossings and at crosswalks where there are traffic signals.

The fine for running a red light – a practice that puts pedestrians at risk – ranges from $200 to $1000. Fines are doubled in Community Safety Zones, near schools and public areas. These areas are clearly marked with signs.

Parents, you need to ensure that your kids learn road safety rules as soon as they can understand them. Stay to the side of the road, stop and look both ways before crossing, watch out for blind corners. A few simple rules that can keep you alive.

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