Ontarians reminded to walk, cycle and drive safely this season

As the temperatures rise and more people are out enjoying the spring weather, the Ontario government is reminding drivers and pedestrians to be safe and look out for one another.

Pedestrians need to be aware of their surroundings and follow a few simple rules:

  • Always cross at marked pedestrian crossovers or traffic lights
  • Wear reflective clothing or use reflective gear to be more visible to drivers and cyclists when walking at night
  • Make sure drivers of vehicles see you before you cross
  • Avoid distractions, such as headphones and cell phones, while crossing
  • Watch for traffic turning at intersections or entering and leaving driveways
  • Follow pedestrian signs and traffic signals

Drivers and cyclists must also do their part to keep pedestrians safe by taking some simple precautions:

  • Be aware of your surroundings, especially when driving in urban or residential areas
  • Obey the speed limit and reduce speed in community safety zones and school zones
  • Avoid distractions that interfere with your ability to drive or cycle safely
  • Drivers and cyclists must stop and yield the whole roadway at pedestrian crossovers and school crossings where there is a crossing guard – it’s the law!

The penalty for not yielding the whole roadway to pedestrians at pedestrian crossovers and school crossings is a fine in the range of $150-$500 and drivers may also face three demerit points upon conviction.

Pedestrian crosswalks and pedestrian crossovers are different. Pedestrian crossovers have specific signs and pavement markings and are normally found between intersections. A crosswalk is usually found at intersections with traffic signals, pedestrian signals or stop signs.

Ontario introduced three new types of pedestrian crossovers in January 2016. Check with your municipality to see what pedestrian crossovers and crosswalks look like in your area.

As of September 1, 2015, penalties for distracted driving include a $490 fine, three demerit points and a minimum 30-day suspension for novice drivers, upon conviction. -CINEWS

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