On January 1, 2016, the Ontario government enacted new safety laws protecting pedestrians at designated pedestrian crossovers. This new law is part of the Making Ontario’s Roads Safer Act and it applies to specific situations.

Under the new law, drivers must stop and wait until all pedestrians have made it to the other side of the pedestrian crossover before proceeding. Pedestrian crossovers are identifiable by their signs, road markings, and special lights. For example, some pedestrian crossovers in London have rectangular yellow signs above them as well as black and white signs.

According to The London Free Press, and Sgt. Amanda Pfeffer of the London Police Services, the only two such pedestrian cross-overs in London, Ontario are on Western and Fanshawe campuses. http://www.lfpress.com/2016/01/04/new-ontario-law-requires-drivers-to-yield-entire-roadway-to-pedestrians-in-crossovers

Drivers who violate this new law can face fines of $150 to $500, and may lose 3 demerit points. Note that these penalties are doubled in Community Safety Zones, which are identifiable by their signs. Community Safety Zones are typically near schools or public areas such as parks.

Pedestrian crosswalks, on the other hand, are located at intersections and are identifiable by two white lines marking a path. You can find pedestrian crosswalks at intersections with stop signs or traffic lights. The new law does not apply to pedestrians crossing at traffic lights or stop signs unless there is a school crossing guard there. In other words, drivers at intersections with pedestrian crosswalks do not have to wait for pedestrians to get to the other side before proceeding if there is no crossing guard present. Of course, all of the regular traffic laws apply at both pedestrian crossovers and pedestrian crosswalks.

Have you been charged under the Making Ontario’s Roads Safer Act? Need more information about recent changes in Ontario’s driving laws? Contact DeMelo Law.