Cannabis, Smoke-Free Ontario and Road Safety Statute Law Amendment Act, 2017, Schedule 4, Amendments to the Highway Traffic Act (formerly Bill 174)
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Bill or Act:
Highway Traffic Act (HTA)
Summary of Proposal:
For the last 16 years, Ontario has been ranked first or second in road safety in North America (measured by number of fatalities per 10,000 licensed drivers). Despite Ontario's record of success, there is still more the Province can do to address growing safety concerns about collisions involving impaired drivers, distracted drivers and vulnerable road users (e.g., pedestrians and cyclists).
On November 1, 2017, Ontario introduced Cannabis, Smoke-Free Ontario and Road Safety Statute Law Amendment Act, 2017 (formerly Bill 174). Schedule 4 of the Act strengthens existing road safety laws and allows for new measures to make roads even safer, especially for vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and cyclists. This Act addresses concerns that existing penalties do not adequately address the severity of traffic offences when death or harm is caused, particularly to vulnerable road users (e.g., seniors, youth and children).
In addition, this Act is a critical step in preparing for federal legalization of cannabis, which has a proposed implementation date of no later than July 2018. To supplement the legislative amendments in Schedule 4 of the Act related to reducing impaired driving, distracted driving and enhancing vulnerable road user safety, the Ministry of Transportation (MTO) is soliciting public comment on complementary regulatory amendments.
For details on the ministry's proposed regulatory amendments, please see the attached summary. We invite you to submit comments on these proposed regulatory amendments for the ministry's consideration.
Analysis of Regulatory Impact:
Based on a preliminary impact analysis of the proposed regulations MTO does not anticipate any direct compliance costs to business or the public.
It is important to note that individuals who would be impacted by these changes are drivers who have committed an offence under the Highway Traffic Act.
These proposals will increase penalties for those drivers who chose to drive in a distracted or careless manner or with the presence of drugs and/or alcohol in their body or those drivers who fail to yield to pedestrians.
It is anticipated that these proposals may translate into positive economic benefits for Ontario businesses, improve the Province's productivity by reducing congestion, reduce healthcare costs associated with preventable injuries and further reduce greenhouse gas emissions by providing safe alternatives to motor vehicle transportation.
January 18, 2018
Comments Due Date:
March 4, 2018
Ministry of Transportation Road Safety Policy Office
Safety Policy and Education Branch 87 Sir William Hearst Avenue Building "A", Room 212
Toronto, Ontario M3M 0B4