Are you up to date on Ontario's rules of the road?

Driving carefully and following the rules of the road is every driver’s responsibility. However, the rules of the road may not be the same as they were when you took your driver’s exam. Not knowing the current rules could lead to a fine, another penalty, or something worse – like causing injury. That’s why it’s important to stay up to date.

In the past two years, Ontario has made some major changes to traffic laws. In June 2015, the “Making Ontario Roads Safer Act,” or Bill 31, was approved unanimously. Parts of the Bill have been coming into effect over the last two years.

A number of the changes increased the penalty for violating various prohibitions, several of which are geared toward distracted driving and bicycle safety. The following table (which can be found on the Ministry of Transportation’s website here) summarizes those increases and changes that took effect on September 1, 2015:



Penalty Effective September 1, 2015

Distracted Driving

$60 - $500 fine

$490* fine and three demerit points; minimum 30-day suspension for novice drivers

"Dooring" of cyclists or vehicles

$60 - $500 fine

$365* fine and three demerit points

Passing cyclists


Drivers must leave a one-metre distance when passing cyclists or face a $110* fine and two demerit points; $180* fine and two demerit points for failing to leave a one-metre distance when passing cyclists in a community safety zone

Improper lighting on bicycle

$20 set fine

$110* fine

Slow Down, Move Over

Slow Down, Move Over for emergency vehicles stopped at roadside to assist

Slow Down, Move Over requirement now also includes tow trucks stopped at roadside to assist; $490* fine for violation


As of January 2016, drivers must yield the whole roadway to pedestrians at school crossing and at pedestrian crossovers. This rule came from recommendations in a report on pedestrian deaths, prepared by the Chief Coroner in 2012.

As of October 2016, provincial penalties for drug-impaired driving mirror penalties for alcohol-impaired driving. A driver stopped while drug-impaired will—at a minimum—have their license suspended for three days (for a first occurrence), and will have to pay a $180 fee to get their licence reinstated. It is important to note that criminal charges are also possible in such cases (which was the case prior to October 2016).

If you or a loved one has been injured in a motor vehicle accident, call Burn Tucker Lachaîne. Our initial consultation is free. You can come to our accessible office with free parking in Ottawa or we can visit you at home or at the hospital.  We offer legal services in French and English.

We are committed to providing knowledgeable, experienced, and compassionate legal representation to clients who have been seriously injured. We help our clients understand their rights, achieve their recovery goals and receive the fair medical support, benefits and compensation to which they are entitled. 

By Burn Tucker Lachaîne LLP Personal Injury Lawyers on September 10, 2017
Tags: Bicycle Accidents, Car Accidents, Free Consultation, Impaired Driving, Negligence, Pedestrian accidents, Personal Injury, Safety