Yakabuski announces tougher driving penalties

The new provincial government says it is taking steps to ensure Ontario’s roads are safe for everyone.

As of September 1, there are now tougher penalties for careless driving and endangering pedestrians.

Drivers convicted of careless driving causing bodily harm or death could face fines from $2,000 to $50,000, six demerit points, a driver’s licence suspension of up to five years, and up to two years in jail.

“Time and time again we’ve seen families devastated because a loved one is hurt or killed by a dangerous driver, and the driver walks away with no more than a slap on the wrist,” said MP John Yakabuski, Ontario’s new Minister of Transportation.

“This new charge sends a clear message that dangerous driving won’t be tolerated.”

Penalties will also increase for drivers who fail to yield to pedestrians at crossovers, school crossings and crosswalks.

The maximum penalty will increase to $1,000 and four demerit points.

Drivers are also reminded that they must yield the entire roadway at pedestrian crossovers, school crossings, and other locations where there is a crossing guard, and cannot continue driving until pedestrians have finished crossing the road completely.

“The number of pedestrians being injured and killed on our roads has reached a critical level,” said Yakabuski.

“Tougher penalties help, but we need everyone to step up and do their part by driving safely and responsibly.”