On June 4, 2019, Ontario government passed the Getting Ontario Moving Act that will upload responsibility for new subway lines get built faster, improve road safety, and protect frontline workers and schoolchildren.
Ontario’s highways are among the safest in North America, where we’ve ranked the lowest or second lowest in fatality rates among all jurisdictions for 18 consecutive years.
Important legislative changes to increase road safety include:
- Making learning to drive safer and reaffirming to new drivers that it is never safe to drive under the influence by introducing two new offences for any driving instructor that violates a zero blood-alcohol concentration or zero drug presence requirement.
- Improving traffic flow and enhancing road safety on our highways by introducing tougher penalties for driving slowly in the left-hand lane.
- Protecting our children by giving municipalities the tools they need to target drivers who blow by school buses and threaten the safety of children crossing roads to their school or home.
- Strengthening laws that protect frontline, roadside maintenance, construction, tow truck and recovery workers from careless drivers.
- Making life easier for tourism operators and recreational off-road vehicle drivers by allowing off-road vehicles to operate on municipal roads unless specifically prohibited.
Speed Limit Pilots
The Ontario Government is exploring new ways to improve traffic flow and safety on provincial highways by introducing three speed limit pilots on select highways. At the same time, the Government will launch province-wide consultations on how to safely increase highway speeds to align with other provinces, and how people currently drive.
There are currently six other provinces in Canada that have posted speed limits of 110 km/h or higher on certain highways.
Three sections of highways are planned as pilot locations in Southern Ontario where the highway speed will be posted at 110 km/h starting in mid-September:
- Highway 402 from London to Sarnia;
- the Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW) from St. Catharines to Hamilton; and
- Highway 417 from Ottawa/Gloucester to Ontario/Quebec border.
The Government is adding extra safety measures such as increased signage and messaging. We will also protect the safety of drivers by proposing amendments that keep the street-racing penalties at 150 km/h. This means in the speed limit pilot zones, the street-racing penalties will apply at 40 km/h over the posted speed limit, not the usual 50 km/h over.
The new legislation increases public safety by:
- Making learning to drive safer, and reaffirming to new drivers, that it is never safe to drive under the influence by introducing a new offence for any driving instructor that violates a Zero Blood Alcohol or Drug Presence requirement;
- Improving traffic flow and enhancing road safety on our highways by introducing tougher penalties for driving slowly in the left-hand lane;
- Protecting our children by giving municipalities the tools they need to target drivers who blow-by school buses and threaten the safety of children crossing roads to their school or home;
- Allowing motorcyclists to use High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes – a much safer part of the road for them; and,
- Strengthening laws that protect frontline, roadside workers from careless drivers.
Regulatory changes will put people first by:
- Amending motorcycle regulations to allow for high-styled handlebars; and,
- Allowing the use of advanced technologies for commercial motor vehicles that lead to reduced fuel consumption, lower emissions, and increased productivity within the trucking industry.
In the coming weeks, the government will make life easier for everyone in Ontario that drives a pickup truck or trailer for personal use, exempting them from the inspection requirements for commercial vehicles.
June 4, 2019, Ministry of Transportation