Bill 31 – Changes to the Highway Traffic Act

Effective September 1, 2015, rules of the road have changed to ensure the safety of all road users.

Distracted Driving

It is illegal to talk, text, dial or e-mail using hand-held phones and other hand-held communication and entertainment devices, while driving.

New measures to discourage drivers from texting and driving include higher fines, demerit points, and license suspension.

As a driver, it's your responsibility to focus on driving so that you can react to changing road conditions. Leave the Phone Alone!

 Cycling Safety

The safety of all road users is paramount and that includes cyclists. New cycling measures are directed at encouraging cycling, promoting road safety, and sharing the road.

  • Dooring - Higher fines and demerit points for “Dooring” . Dooring occurs when someone opens a parked motor vehicle door into the path of a cyclist or other traffic.
  • Safe Passing of Cyclists - Drivers must keep a one-metre (3 feet) distance when passing cyclists or they can face fines.
  • Lighting on bicycles - Cyclists must have proper lights, reflective materials and reflectors on their person, or on their bicycles (and that includes e-bikes) and motor-assisted bicycles (mopeds). Cyclists with improper bicycle lighting may be fined.

“Slow Down, Move Over” Law now includes Tow Trucks

It is important to protect the safety of those who are assisting others at roadside, often in dangerous roadside conditions. The “slow down and move over” law has been extended to include tow truck operators who are stopped on the roadside with their amber lights flashing and actively assisting a disabled vehicle. This law already includes our emergency workers—police, firefighters and paramedics.  Motorists who do not slow down and, where possible, move over into another lane when a tow truck is stopped on roadside with its amber lights flashing are subject to a fine.

More information is available from the Ontario Ministry of Transportation